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Landscape in the style of Mi Fu

18th century


Hua Yan


1682 – 1756

  • Details

    Place where the work was made
    Qing dynasty 1644 - 1911 → China
    18th century
    Media categories
    Scroll , Painting
    Materials used
    hanging scroll; ink on paper
    129.5 x 61.0 cm image; 259.0 x 92.0 cm scroll
    Signature & date

    Signed u.l. corner, in Chinese, incribed in black ink, "Xinlo shanren painted and inscribed."
    Signed, in Chinese , stamped in red ink "hua yan, qiu yue, Kong chen shi hua, tai su dao ren [four artist's seals]" Not dated.

    Purchased with funds provided by the Art Gallery Society of New South Wales 1993
    Not on display
    Accession number

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Hua Yan

    Works in the collection


  • About

    This painting is in the style of the gifted landscapist Mi Fu (1052-1109), a member of an 11th-century coterie of scholar-artists who formulated the literati (wenrenhua) theory the value of a painting lies not in its simulation of nature but in its transformation of nature into a vehicle that expresses the character and mood of the painter. For centuries this theory shaped the style of the scholar-amateur literati artists who worked in ink only. They scorned mere representation, aspiring to a deliberate awkward-looking style full of archaic reference tempered by an astringent intellectualism. In 18th-century Yanzhou, a wealthy class of merchants who sought to emulate the taste of the scholar-gentry class commissioned paintings in the literati style, such as this fine example by Hua Yan. One of the ‘Eccentric Master of Yangzhou’, a loose group of artists producing their own unorthodox interpretations of literati painting, Hua Yan was noted for the virtuosity of his brushwork. By his time the Mi Fu style of building up landscape forms by a series of dots (particularly obvious in his mountains) was a classic in the stylistic vocabulary of literati artists.

    ‘The Asian Collections: Art Gallery of New South Wales’. pg.150.
    © 2003 Trustees, Art Gallery of New South Wales

  • Places

    Where the work was made


  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 3 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 7 publications