Hidden Valley, after Guo Xi

A mountainous landscape, primarily in muted colors from light gray to dark grayish-brown. The central area is shrouded in mist. Below this area, in the foreground, rocks are covered with flowering bushes. The rocks rising above the mist are bare except for a few scattered woods. Two waterfalls cascade down the rocks. Along the right side of the composition is an inscription consisting of two vertical lines of Chinese characters. Beneath this are two seals

Maker(s)
Artist: Zhang Daqian 張大千 (China, 1899-1983)
Historical period(s)
Modern period, 1962
Medium
Ink and color on paper
Dimensions
H x W: 193.8 x 102 cm (76 5/16 x 40 3/16 in)
Geography
China
Credit Line
Gift of The Arthur M. Sackler Foundation
Collection
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
S1999.119
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Painting
Type

Hanging scroll

Keywords
China, landscape, Modern period (1912 - present), waterfall
Provenance

1987-1999
Columbia University in the City of New York, New York, NY [1]

1999
Arthur M. Sackler Foundation, transferred from Columbia University, in the City of New York, New York, NY [2]

From 1999
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, gift of the Arthur M. Sackler Foundation

Notes:

[1] The Memorandum dated March 5, 1999 indicates that 9 objects’ status were resolved on that date. As per that Agreement: “Columbia University owned the works and had loaned them to the Arthur M. Sackler Foundation in October 1987. Upon signing the Agreement, Columbia waived and relinquished any and all rights, title and interest in and to these works. Ownership of the works has been effectively transferred to the Arthur M. Sackler Foundation.” See Memorandum from March 5, 1999, copy in object file.

[2] See note 1.

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

Columbia University in the City of New York
Arthur M. Sackler Foundation founded 1965

Description

A mountainous landscape, primarily in muted colors from light gray to dark grayish-brown. The central area is shrouded in mist. Below this area, in the foreground, rocks are covered with flowering bushes. The rocks rising above the mist are bare except for a few scattered woods. Two waterfalls cascade down the rocks. Along the right side of the composition is an inscription consisting of two vertical lines of Chinese characters. Beneath this are two seals

Inscription(s)

1. (AMS Foundation Catalogue Information) Two vertical lines of Chinese characters along right side of composition. Beneath this are two seals of the artist. According to Trudi Kawami (3/26/1999), the upper seal reads "Daiqian wei yin danian" and the lower seal appears to be a very stylized rendering of "Daqian haofu". According to Laura Whitman of Christie's Chinese Paintings Department (3/29/1999), the inscription is a descriptive poem of the landscape; there is no dedication and the painting was done in the Ren Yin Year, or 1962.

Label

This large and impressive landscape painting was created in the early 1960s, which was a transitional period in the stylistic development of the 20th century master Chang Dai-chien. It was during this period that Chang emerged from more strictly traditional styles of painting to create a new style of landscape depiction, which he called  "splashed ink and color". This innovative approach exerted a profound influence both on Chang's contemporaries and on the subsequent generation of landscape painters in China, and is the style for which Chang Dai-chien is best known. The proposed gift from the Sackler Foundation fully represents this important creative turning point in the artist's career.

Despite the innovative and strongly individualistic qualities of his later work, Chang Dai-chien himself always claimed to derive his inspiration from the great traditions of the past. In his lengthy inscription on this painting, for example, Chang states that he has merely allowed his creative mood to reinterpret a famous painting by the Northern Song dynasty master Guo Xi (ca. 1001-ca. 1090) called Hidden Valley, which is now in the collection of the Shanghai Museum. While many of the basic compositional elements and details of brushwork do in fact derive from that ancient master, it is Chang's fresh and novel approach that most fundamentally defines the character of this work.

Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Whistler's Neighborhood
Google Cultural Institute
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