Xia Gui , (Chinese, active ca. 1195-1230)
Hanging scroll mounted on panel; ink and color on silk
H: 136.7 W: 71.3 cm
Gift of Charles Lang Freer F1919.141
This unsigned work is a typical example of Zhe School painting, which flourished during the early to mid-Ming dynasty (13681644) in the area of Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, the former imperial capital of the Southern Song dynasty (11271279). With the Zhe School revival of Song styles in the early Ming dynasty, monumental ink-landscape paintings with heavily contoured and sculpted mountain forms became more common, while the expressive possibilities of brushwork and the evocation of mood generally took precedence over the technical niceties of execution. In the present painting, the main trunk of the plum tree has been trimmed along the right edge, leaving only a few limbs and twigs to whet the viewer's imagination.