Shen Zhou - Lofty Mountain

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Lofty Mountain
Shen Zhou (China, 1427-1509)
Ink and color on silk, hanging scroll, 193.8 x 98.1 cm (76,3 x 38,6 in)
National Museum, Taipei (Taiwan)

Following the achievements of the artists of the Song Dynasty, the artists of the Ming dynasty continued the progress of Chinese painting, refining the technique and improving the use of color. The most important painters were the so-called "Four Masters of the Ming Dynasty": Shen Zhou (1427-1509), Tang Yin (1470-1524), Wen Zhengming (1470-1559) and Qiu Ying (c. 1495-1552).

The first of them, and arguably the most important, was Shen Zhou, founder of the "Wu School". This "school" cultivated a freer style, deviating from the dominant “Zhe School”, which was closer to the style of the Southern Song Dynasty.

However, despite this "revolutionary spirit", Shen Zhou knew and admired the works of the great artists of the Song Dynasty, and his most famous works, including "Poet on a Mountaintop" or "Lofty Mountain", reflect the influence of those artists, especially Ma Yuan.

Despite its impressive size (nearly two meters high), "Lofty Mountain" stands out for its attention to detail and richness of its colors. The trees and the small (and apparently dangerous) bridge are painted with notable precision. As in other works by the artist, the painting includes a short poem and a list of the successive owners of the work.

G. Fernández -

Shen Zhou - Poet on a Mountaintop

"Poet on a Mountaintop", is another important work by Shen Zhou.

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