Bada Shanren (八大山人, literally "Mountain Man of the Eight Greats", ca.1626-1705) , born as Zhu Da (朱耷), was a Chinese painter and calligrapher. He was of noble lineage, being a descendant of the Ming Dynasty Prince of Ning (寧王) - Zhu Quan (朱權).
A child prodigy, Zhu Da began painting and writing poetry in his early childhood. About the year 1658, when the Ming emperor committed suicide and a rebel army attacked Beijing, the young man sought refuge in a Buddhist temple and became a monk. As a loyal subject of the Ming, he was heartbroken and refused to speak to anyone: he only laughs and cries (as inscriptions on his paintings tell). His paintings feature sharp brush strokes which are attributed to the sideways manner by which he held his brush. Zhu Da was a leading painter of the Qing Dynasty.
Masterpieces by Zhu Da (view the entire calligraphy gallery)