- Alternative title
- Place where the work was made
- Media categories
- Scroll , Painting
- Materials used
- hanging scroll; ink and colour on paper
- 151.0 x 79.2 cm image; 245.0 x 101.5 cm overall
- Signature & date
Signed u.l., in Chinese, inscribed " 賓虹 [Binhong]". Not dated.
- Gift of Prof Pierre and Mrs HF Ryckmans 2018. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
- Not on display
- Accession number
- Artist information
Works in the collection
Huang Binhong is a renowned master of modern Chinese art and is considered perhaps the last of China’s great literati painters. He was born in 1865 into a literary family, and began in childhood to copy the work of earlier masters. Throughout his career as a painter, spanning more than 80 years, he regularly travelled in mountainous regions throughout China. He particularly admired the dramatic Huangshan mountain range in his ancestral province of Anhui and it inspired many of his finest paintings. As art historian Michael Sullivan remarked, ‘Everywhere he went, he sketched, making notes of the light and colours of the moment like an impressionist…’. In his later years, Huang Binhong developed a unique brushstroke style, applying ‘thick, dark, dense and heavy’ ink to his landscape paintings, thereby creating strong, expressive images such as this painting, Summer mountain.
The artist had extensive knowledge of Chinese painting and wrote several books on the subject. He was also the chief editor of an encyclopaedia of fine arts and was active in promoting traditional painting styles and reviving the Anhui School of Chinese painting. From 1909 until 1937 he lived in Shanghai. Probably produced in the 1940s, it is likely that Summer mountain was painted during the period in which Huang Binhong lived in Beiping (now Beijing,1937-1948). Later he became head of the Zhejiang Academy of Arts in Hangzhou, where he spent the remainder of his life.
Pierre Ryckmans once compared Huang’s landscape painting with Claude Monet’s waterlilies, saying ‘For him, [Huang Binhong], painting had disappeared as a visual experience, but it remained as a vital breathing of his whole being. In their fierce blackness, these late landscapes of Huang Binhong are to the eye what the harsh complexity of Beethoven’s last quartets are to the ear’ (Simon Leys [Pierre Ryckmans] 2011: 430, ‘The Hall of Uselessness’).
Shown in 1 exhibition
Glorious, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 27 May 2017–06 Jan 2019