Autumn Colors at Mount Yu
Qing dynasty (1644–1912)
Handscroll, ink and color on silk
Museum purchase made possible by the Margaret Watson Parker Art Collection Fund, 1966/2.3
Wang Hui was born into a family of artists in Changshu, about ninety-three miles northwest of present-day Shanghai. He studied under Wang Jian (whose paintings are also on view in this gallery), and later Wang Shiming, and became known as one of the “Four Wangs.” His style drew heavily from the painters of the Tang (618–907), Song (960–1279), and Yuan (1271–1368) dynasties and followed the orthodox Southern School of painting developed by the art theorist and painter Dong Qichang (1555–1636).
Wang Hui was one of the preeminent early eighteenth-century painters of the lower Yangzi River region. In this handscroll, Mount Yu towers above his hometown. The sheer vertical cliffs above the ascending path is a site known as “Sword Gate,” still visible in Changshu. Wang was so enchanted by this place that he adopted the nickname “Woodcutter at the Sword Gate.”