Yuan-dynasty landscapes

“DWELLING in the Fuchun Mountains” is a famous Chinese landscape painting from the Yuan dynasty (1271–1368). A paper scroll measuring over 22 feet in length, it was revered for its virtuosity and transfixed collectors (a detail from the scroll is pictured). On his deathbed one owner even ordered its burning so that it could accompany him into the afterlife. A nephew managed to save it from the flames, though not before it had been torn in two.

The work inspired an 18th-century emperor, Qianlong, to compose no fewer than 40 poems: he said that the countryside that sprang from the brush of the artist, Huang Gongwang, was better than the real thing. Only later did scholars determine that Qianlong’s painting—inscribed with odes he had written and affixed with his seals of appreciation—was actually a fake.

The art of putting ink to paper or silk

Article source: http://www.economist.com/blogs/prospero/2015/01/yuan-dynasty-landscapes

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