Xiao Yi Acquiring the "Orchid Pavilion Preface" by Deception (蕭翼賺蘭亭圖)
Juran (巨然, fl. latter half of 10th c.), Five Dynasties (Southern Tang)
Hanging scroll, ink and light colors on silk, 144.1 x 59.6 cm, National Palace Museum, Taipei
The painting depicts a group of high and low peaks surrounding a mountain valley, which in the Ming dynasty was considered to illustrate the Tang dynasty story of Xiao Yi (蕭翼) getting the ''Orchid Pavilion Preface'' original by means of deception. The branches of the trees here are mostly done as unadorned lines with dots added to either side. Both the high and low peaks supporting each other and the watery expanse by the riverbank appear with arcing rocks of various sizes. This important motif in the southern landscape style, which was continued by such later Yuan artists as Huang Gongwang (黃公望, 1269-1354), became an important paradigm from antiquity.