Pavilions Among Mountains and Streams (溪山樓觀圖)
Yan Wengui (燕文貴, ca. 967-1044), Song Dynasty (960-1279)
Hanging Scroll, ink on silk, 103.9 x 47.4 cm, National Palace Museum, Taipei
This hanging scroll painting is a typical representative of the “complete scene (全景)” mode of the early Northern Song. In the foreground area is a description of Jiangnan scenery featuring a long valley with sandy shoals and waterside pavilion. From the middleground to the background, on the other hand, is a majestic view of myriad valleys and ridges typical of the northern landscape. The arrangement of deep space that invites the viewer takes the form of a valley stream between the two mountains, allowing the waterfall to surge forth from the riverbed. It is also found in the narrow planked path over a cliff by the mountainside that follows along the edge diagonally into space. This use and arrangement of various types of scenery in a single painting is a feature of the “Yan Views” with its skillful manipulation of change.