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Ku Yen (early 17th century) 顧言

“Dwellings of the Immortals” 1618

Hanging scroll, ink and color on silk
167.2 x 49.9 cm. (65 7/8 x 19 5/8 in.)

“During the ninth lunar month, autumn of the year 1618, painted after ‘Dwellings of the Immortals’ by Ku Yen, the Old Farmer.”

Artist’s seals:
Li Yen; Lao-nung

(see write up below)

A scholar sits on the riverbank, attended by a servant who is brewing tea. Cypress trees rise above, their gnarled and twisting branches providing much visual interest. Above and beyond, faceted cliffs compress a rushing river and fill the upper part of the picture with great drama. Although the artist seems not to have been recorded in standard sources, the forms and approach suggest comparison with such late Ming artists as Chang Hung (1577-1652 or later) and Hsiang Sheng-mo (1597-1658).

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