Mountain Landscape after Hongren
Modern period (1912–present)
Hanging scroll, ink and light color on paper Gift of the Marvin Felheim Collection, 1955/2.13
Zhang Daqian, a versatile artist and flamboyant personality, is one of the most renowned Chinese artists of the twentieth century, adept at calligraphy, painting, and poetry. His painting style combines the techniques of Western art and traditional Chinese painting.
Zhang was a collector of paintings by past masters, from which he learned a wide range of styles. This work features the austere landscape style of the seventeenth-century painter Hongren. By paying tribute to Hongren, Zhang places himself within the great historical tradition of Chinese painting. But unlike Hongren, who used dry brushwork to delineate mountains and trees, Zhang uses a wetter brush, a mark of his own style. Though here Zhang is paying homage to an earlier artist, he was also a master forger of historic Chinese paintings, and his work fooled numerous connoisseurs and museums from the 1950s through the 1980s.