Late Greenery in Autumn Mountains

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Late Greenery in Autumn Mountains (秋山晚翠)

Guan Tong (關仝, fl. mid 10th c.), Five Dynasties (907-960)

Hanging scroll, ink and color on silk, 140.5x57.3 cm, National Palace Museum, Taipei

       This painting has no signature, but was ascribed to Guan Tong by the late Ming connoisseur Wang Duo (王鐸). Included is a range of soaring peaks, between which are cascades. The path in the corner appears abrupt, suggesting this work may have once been part of a screen remounted later as a hanging scroll. Records indicate that in landscape painting, Guan Tong rendered rocks as solid, peaks as steep, and forests as dense. All these features are found in this work. Below and emerging from the ridges of peaks, a large central cliff juts out in the lower part of this painting to attract the viewer’s attention. A path winds its way along with the stream into the background, suggesting the inaccessible and isolated nature of the terrain. This perhaps is exactly what the artist intended to portray. The silk of this work is heavily damaged and has been remounted several times in the past, being repaired and patched in several places. For example, the continuity between the central cliff and mountain forms in the upper right, along with the building on the peak, are later additions.

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Guan Tong: Late Greenery in Autumn Mountains