Fisherman (漁父圖), also known as Fisherman's Evening Song (漁舟唱晚圖)
Xu Daoning (許道寧, ca.970-1052), Song Dynasty (960-1279)
Handscroll, ink and light color on silk, 48.3 x 225.4 cm, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri
Another example of a great Northern Song dynasty landscape painting is Fisherman by the great master Xu Daoning. Traditionally, the handscroll would be unrolled from right to left by the viewer seated at a table, which allows for close examination of the painting while it is unrolled. Besides providing tactile interaction with the viewer, the format also permits the viewer to go both forward and backward in the painting, to preview or review what has been seen thus far. In Fisherman, Xu’s virtuosity with ink washes and directness of line articulate one of the most impressive expressions in Chinese painting of the overwhelming vastness of nature.