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Title

(Lakeside with a fisherman in a boat, facing right)


Artist

CHENG Sui

China

1605 - 1691


About

Cheng Sui, alias Muqian, was a native of Shexian, Anhui province. Like many traditional literati artists, Cheng mastered painting, writing and poetry, as well as seal carving. But above all, he was considered a man of great moral integrity.

Cheng Sui belonged to a group of loyalist-literati known as 'yimin' or 'left-over people', who refused to transfer their political allegiance from the native Ming to the alien Qing. His dissent was expressed in the literary name he took for himself - 'Goudaoren' (dusty or grim monk) - thus indicating his regret and pain at being unable to stop the foreign conqueror. The effect of dynastical change on Cheng Sui and his painting style is reflected in these albums, painted in 1668, some two decades after the decline of the Ming dynasty. The choice of subject matter is not new: we see simple huts standing by shores, secluded temples concealed in mountains, an isolated boat with a man drifting between river and sky, and a lonely scholar strolling alone along the streamside. However, one can immediately sense the certain plainness, a melancholy and often bleak and lonely feeling. All these sentiments were reinforced by his characteristic dry and bold brush outlines, added by small dots of dry dark ink. Inscriptions were also brushed with very dry ink, echoing the brush works of the landscape.

Excerpt from The Asian Collections, AGNSW, 2003, pg.148.


Details


Place where the work was made

China


Date

17th century


Media category

Painting


Materials used

album leaf; ink on paper


Dimensions

26.3 x 34.0 cm approx.


Credit

Gift of Mr Sydney Cooper 1962


Location

Not on display


Accession number

EP36.1962


Artist information

CHENG Sui

Works in the collection

16


Place

Where the work was made
China

Referenced in 1 publication

Bibliography


Jackie Menzies (Editor), The Asian Collections Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'Landscape Painting', Sydney, 2003, 148.