Artist: Bada Shanren 八大山人 (朱耷) (1626-1705)
Historical period(s)
Qing dynasty, ca. 1690
Ink and color on paper
H x W (image): 149.1 x 64.1 cm (58 11/16 x 25 1/4 in)
Credit Line
Bequest from the collection of Wang Fangyu and Sum Wai, donated in their memory by Mr. Shao F. Wang
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Hanging scroll

China, landscape, Qing dynasty (1644 - 1911), Shao F. Wang collection

To 1997
Wang Fangyu (1913-1997) and Sum Wai (1918-1996), to 1997 [1]

To 1998
Shao F. Wang, New York and Short Hills, NJ, by descent, to 1998 [2]

From 1998
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Shao F. Wang in 1998


[1] According to Curatorial Note 2, Joseph Chang and Stephen D. Allee, May 7, 1998, and Joseph Chang and Stephen D. Allee, August 18, 1998, in the object record.

[2] See note 1.

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

Shao F. Wang
Wang Fangyu 1913-1997
Sum Wai 1918-1996


Bada Shanren only began to paint landscapes seriously in the mid-1690s, around the age of seventy, and toward the end of the decade he created several large-scale works using ink and light color, such as the painting seen here. While Bada failed to note any particular stylistic affiliation for this scroll, like many of his landscape paintings, it clearly reflects his admiration for the tenth-century master Dong Yuan (died 962), who was regarded as the founder of the so-called Southern School of landscape painting. Dong's typical landscape elements, such as rounded rock formations and low, rolling hills, are reinterpreted here by Bada Shanren with energetic and restless brushwork. Executed with sure mastery, the dark, dense masses of the mountains and moist foliage of the trees, the spontaneous variation of ink tones and skillful use of ink washes to texture the rock surfaces, all bespeak an artist at the height of his creative powers.

Published References
  • Claudia Brown. Great Qing: Painting in China 1644-1911. .
  • Katharine P. Burnett. Dimensions of Originality: Essays on Seventeenth-Century Chinese Art Theory and Criticism. Hong Kong. .
  • Joseph Chang, Quianshen Bai, (Catalogue) Stephen Allee. In Pursuit of Heavenly Harmony: Paintings and Calligraphy by Bada Shanren from the Bequest of Wang Fangyu and Sum Wai. Exh. cat. Washington. cat. 21, pp. 106-107.
  • Thomas Lawton, Thomas W. Lentz. Beyond the Legacy: Anniversary Acquisitions for the Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery. vol. 1 Washington, 1998. pp. 244-251.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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