Smithsonian Freer Gallery Sackler Gallery National Museum of Asian Art Gallery Guide Arts of the Islamic World
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In addition to using common materials, calligraphy and painting have long been thought of as springing from the same creative source and requiring the same technical skills in execution, an idea concisely expressed by Zhao Mengfu (1254–1322), a leading master of the early Yuan dynasty (1279–1368), in his famous poetic dictum describing identical technical approaches to writing and painting:

Do the rocks in flying-white, the trees in ancient seal script,
And render bamboo as if writing in clerical characters:
Only if one is truly able to comprehend this, will he realize
That calligraphy and painting are essentially the same.
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Hidden Valley, after Guo Xi, by Chang Dai-chien
Hidden Valley, after Guo Xi
by Chang Dai-chien (1899–1983)
China, Republic period, 1962–63
Hanging scroll; ink and color on paper
193 x 101.6 cm (76 x 40 in.)
Gift of the Arthur M. Sackler Foundation   S1999.119

The inscription reads: "Guo Heyang painted a work called Hidden Valley... Twenty years ago, the scroll came into the possession of my friend... Since the painting has never ceased to occupy my mind, I recently took a different path and made this reinterpretation of it, expressing my creative mood spontaneously through the tip of my brush."

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