White Clouds Over the Creek, in the Style of XinluoArtist(s)Feng Chaoran (Feng Chao-an)Object Creation Date1st half of 20th centuryMedium & Supportink and color on paperDimensions
52 in x 12 5/8 in (132 cm x 32 cm);68 7/8 in x 20 11/16 in (175 cm x 52.5 cm)Credit LineGift of Dr. Cheng-Yang and Mrs. Shirley ChangLabel copy
Each of these hanging scrolls depicts a scholar in a landscape with a descriptive inscription—a practice that harkens back to the Song dynasty (960–1279). Though Feng lived in the modern period, he seems to have embraced the poetic and reclusive ideals of the Song dynasty represented by his subjects. He lived on Songshan (“Song mountain”) Road in Shanghai, and named his house “Thatch Dwelling on Songshan” as a way of connecting himself to Song-dynasty luminaries. He depicts the Song poet Lin Bu (967–1028) (second from right) in a thatched hut, which suggests his status as an eccentric recluse. Feng’s admiration for Song scholars is also apparent in Master Su Tongbo in a Straw Hat and Sandals
(third from right), a portrayal of the renowned Su Shi (1037–1101), a maverick poet-official. Feng’s painting style, however, is modeled on that of the Jiang Su school: a group of artists that originated in the Ming dynasty (1368–1644). In the colophons, he identifies Hua Yan (1682–1765), Luo Pin (1733–1799), and Chen Chun (1483–1544) as models.
The idea that an artist should pay homage to past masters was central to the literati (amateur scholar-artist) tradition in which Feng was trained, as is his calligraphy-based brushwork. His light-colored palette, however, represents his own, modern take on this tradition. Feng was an important mentor to his nephew, the artist Chang Ku-nien (1906–1987), whose work is also in the Museum’s collection.
Fall rotation 2016Subject matter
Man sitting under a tree, contemplating.Physical Description
A man sits under a tree beside a creek. Behind him is a rock. He is contemplating and stares out of the picture frame with his back to the viewer.Primary Object ClassificationPaintingRights
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Song (Chinese culture, style, and period)
creeks (bodies of water)