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Landscape after Tung Yuan: Gallery Label - Current


Minneapolis Institute of Arts



Institution Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Wang Ch'en was born in Tai-tsang, Kiangsu province in 1720. He was a sixth generation descendant of the orthodox master Wang shih-min (1592-1680) and the grandson of Wang Yuan-chi (1642-1715). Wang passed the second-degree provincial exams in 1760 and later served as the prefect of Yung-chou in Hunan province. As a painter, Wang Ch'en carried on the well-established orthodox tradition of his family lineage which was derived from the Four Great Masters of the Yuan (1280-1368). Wang Ch'en was eventually classified along with Wang Yu, Wang Su, and Wang Chiu as the Four Lesser Wangs of the Ch'ing dynasty.

As with the present landscape, Wang's style is characterized by dry brush techniques. The painting is rendered almost entirely in spare, dry strokes of ink that seem to just graze the paper's surface. The result is a unified, elegant composition with remarkably few areas of wet ink. Typical of orthodox painters, homage is paid to past masters; in this case, according to the inscription, the great Five Dynasties landscape artist Tung Yuan (active 945-962). The reference, however, is vague as there is little of Tung Yuan's personal style in this landscape, but rather a synthesis of Sung and Yuan styles reinterpreted by a middle Ch'ing orthodox painter.

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Type: Commentary, Gallery Label - Current
Source: Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Rights: Copyright Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Added to Site: March 10, 2009