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Blue Mountains and White Clouds

Accession Number
1970/2.157

Title
Blue Mountains and White Clouds

Artist(s)
Chinese

Artist Nationality
Chinese (culture or style)

Object Creation Date
14th century (or later)

Medium & Support
fan mounted as hanging scroll, ink and color on silk

Dimensions
10 3/8 in. x 10 13/16 in. ( 26.35 cm x 27.5 cm )

Credit Line
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. C.D. Carter

Label copy

Blue Mountains and White Clouds
China

Ming dynasty (1368–1644)
After 14th century
Fan mounted as hanging scroll, ink and color on silk Gift of Mr. and Mrs. C.D. Carter, 1970/2.157

This painting offers viewers an intimate experience of the reclusive ideal of living a peaceful life. Below the looming mountaintops, a lone figure in white makes his way across a wooden bridge. Rooted into the mountainside is a “greeting- guest pine,” which bends over the traveler, welcoming

him to the pavilion above, a secluded location promising a spectacular view.

This work is signed Qianli Boju, the alternate name of
the famous twelfth-century painter Zhao Boju, known for exquisite paintings using malachite green and azurite blue mineral pigments. Close analysis of the painting style, however, suggests that it was painted no earlier than the fourteenth century. Thus scholars believe the signature was probably added by someone who wanted to sell the painting for a higher price than could be fetched by an anonymous work. In spite of this, the painting provides an accomplished example of an artist imitating an earlier style.



Subject matter
Mountains in Chinese culture have long been recognized as majestic, where deities, spirits and immortals could reside. The blue and green mountains in this scroll evoke Tang period (618-907 CE) painting style, as well as the famous twelfth century painter Zhao Boju. Zhao Boju was famous for his exquisite paintings making use of malachite green and azurite blue mineral pigments, and this work is signed with his alternate name Qianli Boju. The signature was probably added by someone who wanted to sell the painting for a higher price than could be fetched by an anonymous work.
Rooted into the mountainside a “greeting-guest pine” bends over the traveler, welcoming the traveler the pavilion above.

Physical Description
The green mountains in this fan painting appear truly vertical and solid. The clouds, too, in spite of their rounded edges appear to be frozen in space. A pine tree bends over the side of the cliff, with its foliage over a traveler in white crossing a bridge below.

Primary Object Classification
Painting

Primary Object Type
hanging scroll

Additional Object Classification(s)
Painting

Collection Area
Asian

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.

Keywords
bridges (built works)
clouds
landscapes (environments)
mountains
pavilions (garden structures)

4 Related Resources

Ink and Realisms
(Part of: Artist Associations and Art Movements)
Ink and Realisms in China before 1800
(Part of: Artist Associations and Art Movements)
Silk
(Part of: Exchange and Influence on Global Trade Routes)

& Author Notes

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