'Acknowledged as a master of the traditional style of landscape painting, Wu Hufan nonetheless brought a refreshing sense of colour to his often meticulous evocations of nature. Examples such as this remain firmly in the tradition with the clearly defined foreground, middle ground and the far distance hinted at in the soft colour washes of remote mountain peaks. The modulation of the rocks and mountains with abbreviated brushstrokes and the careful definition of the trees and leaves are reminiscent of the literati landscapes of the late Ming and early Qing dynasties, but Wu's innovative colours bring a sense of modernity to that traditional style. A native of Suzhou, Wu spent his early years in the Shanghai region and following the establishment of the People's Republic in 1949 he taught at the Shanghai Painting Academy. In the inscription Wu acknowledges the heritage of his own painting style: 'Dong Qichang (1555-1636) once copied the 'boneless style' landscapes of the great Northern dynasties masters Zhang Shengyou and Yang Sheng. This method was lost in the Song and Yuan dynasties but Dong Qichang revitalized their secret. After him Ha Yan sometimes also did paintings in this manner. Dated 'wuyin' year (1938), signed Wu Hufan.' The small colophon on the upper left, which was evidently written late reads: 'In the autumn of this year Mr. Pei Lin showed me this painting and I inscribed it for him.'
‘The Asian Collections: Art Gallery of New South Wales’, pg.170.
© 2003 Trustees, Art Gallery of New South Wales
Place where the work was made
hanging scroll; ink and colour on paper
76.5 x 30.7 cm image; 179.0 x 58.0 cm scroll
Signature & date
Signed and dated u.r., in Chinese, inscribed in black ink, “…the year of Wuyin (1938), Wu Hufan.”
Signed u.l., in Chinese, stamped in red ink, “Wu Hufeng” [artist's seal].
Not on display
© WU Hufan
Where the work was made
Shown in 2 exhibitions
Referenced in 2 publications
Jackie Menzies, Contemporary Chinese Painting, 'Wu Hufan', Sydney, 1985, 14 (illus.). Cat.no.23
The Asian Collections Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'The Shanghai School and Modern Painting', Sydney, 2003, 170 (colour illus.).