Landscape after Ni Zan and calligraphy in standard script

View right to left

Artist: Bada Shanren 八大山人 (朱耷) (1626-1705)
Historical period(s)
Qing dynasty, ca. 1703-05
Ink on paper
H x W (image): 25.1 x 32.3 cm (9 7/8 x 12 11/16 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
Album, Painting

Album leaf

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

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 3, 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


The stark ink-landscapes of the Yuan-dynasty painter Ni Zan (1306-1374) held a strong appeal for many seventeenth-century artists of the late Ming and early Qing dynasties, especially followers of the influential painter and theorist Dong Qichang (1555-1636), such as Bada Shanren. Ni's spare compositions and spartan brushwork, together with the pervasive sense of loneliness and seclusion in his paintings, served as important models for Bada, who formally recognized the specific source of his inspiration in his unsigned inscription, which reads in part: "Ni Yu [Ni Zan] painted like a celestial steed bounding the void or white clouds emerging from a ridge, showing not a speck of mundane vulgarity."

In this undated album leaf, while both the dry, crumbly ink and small, open pavilion at lower left are strongly reminiscent of Ni Zan, the composition as a whole clearly illustrates the loose structural relationships and unconventional use of space that typify landscapes from Bada's late period.

Published References
  • Yuan Li. "近距离阅读大师." Exploring the Enigmas of Bada Shanren – Freer’s Special Exhibition Review., 284. Shanghai, May 2016. p. 69.
  • 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, 262.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
SI Usage Statement

Usage Conditions Apply

There are restrictions for re-using this image. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

The information presented on this website may be revised and updated at any time as ongoing research progresses or as otherwise warranted. Pending any such revisions and updates, information on this site may be incomplete or inaccurate or may contain typographical errors. Neither the Smithsonian nor its regents, officers, employees, or agents make any representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or timeliness of the information on the site. Use this site and the information provided on it subject to your own judgment. The Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery welcome information that would augment or clarify the ownership history of objects in their collections.