Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Chinese scroll painting of the day

Wikipedia has a big-ass reproduction of Fan Kuan's Travelers Among Mountains and Streams.

The painting is 6.75 feet long, and arguably the finest masterpiece of Chinese landscape painting. When it was supposed to leave Taiwan's National Museum and visit the Met in NYC, the Taiwanese people freaked (on the rather unlikely theory that we would give the painting to China) and it stayed home.

The most remarkable thing about it, from what I've been able to discern of the painting, is the ethereal relation of the looming mountains to the foreground landscape. It can be taken as "really there," but it also seems to inhabit a separate reality.

The only reproduction I've found for sale is from the National Museum itself -- currently on sale for a mere NT$2550 ($79 U.S., plus shipping).

... Not much seems to be known of Fan Kuan that isn't inferred from his work. He seems to've flourished around the turn of the first millenium A.D.

1 comment:

  1. when you decide to go with pictures, you save it for MAJOR ONES!