A Solitary Temple Amid Clearing Peaks (晴巒蕭寺圖)
Attributed to Li Cheng (李成, 919–967), Five Dynasties period (907-960)
Hanging scroll, ink and light color on silk, 111.8 x 55.9 cm, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri
The large hanging scroll is attributed to Li Cheng, and is one of the very few surviving examples attributed to his hand. It is a monumental mountain landscape with a temple near its center and a flurry of human activity near the base of the painting. The artist conceived and executed the picture with a precision and expertise that convey the scene’s weight and volume. The brushwork captures the animation found in nature, and the artist’s control over the ink allows the architectural elements to be interdependent with the surrounding contorted trees, streams and mist-covered mountains. The fine brushwork and monumental composition in this 10th century Chinese landscape make it a world-class masterpiece.
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