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Photo credit: Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University

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Culture: Chinese
Title: Landscape
Date: early 17th century
Medium: Hanging scroll: ink on paper
Dimensions: Image: 35 1/2 x 18 inches (90.2 x 45.7 cm)
Credit Line: Gift of Professor Harold Shadick
Object Number: 71.115
Label Text: The inscription reads:

Forest trees, luxuriant and pure, don shadows
Winds and mists buffet the depth of the Five Lakes
My home seems to be in dwelling upon the Five Lakes
Only in a small boat, not following the common way

Xiang Shengmo was the grandson of the great Ming dynasty collector and connoissseur Xiang Yuanbian, whose personal collection of ancient Chinese paintings was unmatched in his time for both quality and quantity. As a consequence of such exposure to great masterpieces of the past, Xiang Shengmo's paintings have much of the "flavor of the ancients" so greatly admired in the late Ming period. This landscape follows in the style of the Yuan dynasty master Ni Zan (1301-1374).

The poem's reference to dwelling in a boat (a metaphor for a world away from human society) may also be a reference to Ni's life, since the Yuan painter spent the latter part of his life as a lone wanderer in a small houseboat.

NOTE: This electronic record is compiled from historic documentation which may not reflect the Johnson Museum's complete or current knowledge of the object. Review and refinement of such records is ongoing.