Born in Anhui province, Chu Ch'ang lived mostly in neighboring Hsin-an. While there, he studied with Hung-jen(1616-1663), the central figure of the Anhui or Hsin-an school of painting. It was from that renowned master that Chu learned the basics of his own technique and style. Chu is also said to have studied and copied works by various Yuan dynasty masters which accounts for the extreme degree of simplification and literati values apparent in his sparse landscape paintings.
This scroll features the rectilinear and multi-faceted cliffs and elongated spreading pines characteristic of the famous Huang-shan mountains of Anhui province. The linear, rather spare style capturing the fissured forms and surfaces of the rocks and trees, owes a great deal to Hung-jen and the solitary nature of Chu's own personality.
The inscription reads:
During the first lunar month of the year 1668, painted at leisure in the Bamboo Hill Inn on the River Gau by Chu Ch'ang, called Shan-shih.