A small mountain village, an isolated pavilion, and, above, a single house define the human elements in this extensive landscape. The repetitive rounded hills, with interior texture strokes, are based on those of Wang Hui (1632-1717) and, more distantly, those of Wu Chen of the 14th century and Tung Yuan of the 10th. Although painted toward the end of the last dynasty to rule China, the picture is yet able to conjure much of the past history of that glorious tradition.
Ch’en Tzu-ch’ing, called Yu-hu, was born in Hsiang-shan, the modern Chung-shan in Kuang-tung province. A chu-jen of the year 1846, Ch’en was a good poet, his writing being gathered in the Ch’eng-chen-hua chai-shih, and he excelled in painting landscapes. Given the economic straits of his family, Ch’en sold his paintings for his livelihood.