Eastern Art Online, Yousef Jameel Centre for Islamic and Asian Art

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Viewing the Sea of Clouds on Mount Hua

  • Description

    Zhang Daqian was one of the most successful painters of the 20th century, renowned for his skill and versatility. He produced many copies of Tang dynasty (618-906) murals following a visit to the famous Mogao Buddhist cave temples in Dunhuang. The bright green colour and the hard outlines of the mountains and clouds in this painting evoke the Tang landscape style. The use of perspective, which leads the eye up the zig-zagging composition to the figures at the top, is also inspired by Dunhuang murals.

    The artsits describes in his inscriptions how: ‘Arriving at this place [I] almost underestimate Sun and Moon. Turning my head around [it appears as] the Penglai immortal land. [It looks like] the lotus blossoming in a well when it breezes in autumn. [It looks as if it was] the dusts in Xi’an. [It looks as if] a jade dragon is playing under the snow. [It looks like] the white beauty Chang’e walking on the Moon. [The scene] in front of my eyes reminds me of the Jin River [in Sichuan province]. All sorts of things from the past to the present are built in jade .’

  • Details

    Associated place
    AsiaChina Shaanxi province (Mount Hua) (possible place of creation)
    AsiaChina Shaanxi province (Mount Hua) (subject)
    probably 1935
    Zhang Daqian (1899 - 1983) (artist)
    Zhang Daqian (1899 - 1983) (calligrapher)
    Material and technique
    ink and colour on paper
    frame 179.8 x 58.2 x 2.2 cm (height x width x depth)
    painting 136.4 x 40.4 cm (height x width)
    Material index
    Technique index
    Object type index
    No. of items
    Credit line
    Presented in honour of the forthcoming 70th birthdays of Jose Mauricio and Angelita Trinidad Reyes, 1995.
    Accession no.
  • Further reading

    Oxford: Ashmolean Museum, 24 September-1 December 1996, Modern Chinese Paintings: The Reyes Collection in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, Vainker, Shelagh (Oxford: Ashmolean Museum, 1996), no. 116 on p. 86, pp. 8 & 13, illus. p. 86 fig. 116

    Vainker, Shelagh, ‘Modern Chinese Paintings in the Ashmolean Museum’, Oriental Art, 42/3, (Autumn 1996), p. 5, illus. p. 4 fig. 4

Past Exhibition

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    • currently in research collection

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