Relaxing in a Waterside Pavilion

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Relaxing in a Waterside Pavilion (水亭清興圖)

Zhou Chen (周臣, ?-1535), Ming Dynasty (1368-1644)

Hanging scroll, ink and color on silk, 181.2 x 110.5 cm, National Palace Museum, Taipei

       Zhou Chen, a native of Suzhou, Jiangsu, excelled at landscapes and figures. In landscapes he followed Chen Xian (陳暹) and based his style on the works of Southern Song masters, mostly those of Liu Songnian (劉松年), Li Tang (李唐), Ma Yuan (馬遠), and Xia Gui (夏珪). His brushwork was skilled and deliberate, his vigorous style powerful yet elegant. Zhou Chen’s students included Tang Yin (唐寅) and Qiu Ying (仇英).

       This work depicts a riverbank with willows as well as a pavilion and boat. A seated scholar reclines in a thatched pavilion as a person sits in a skiff in the lower right by the shore playing a bamboo flute. A boy carries a wrapped lute as pliant tree branches sway and ripples of water move. Zhou Chen has captured a leisurely waterside summer scene of coolness and relaxation, which the viewer also seems to feel.

Zhou Chen: Relaxing in a Waterside Pavilion