China, early Jin dynasty / Streams and Mountains Without End / c. 1127-1150China, early Jin dynasty
Streams and Mountains Without End
c. 1127-1150

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Creator Nationality: Chinese
Creator Dates/Places: China
Creator Active Place: China
Creator Name-CRT: China, early Jin dynasty
Title: Streams and Mountains Without End
Title Type: Primary
View: Detail
Creation Start Date: 1127
Creation End Date: 1150
Creation Date: c. 1127-1150
Object Type: Paintings
Materials and Techniques: handscroll, ink and light color on silk
Dimensions: Image: 35.1cm x 213cm, Overall: 35.1cm x 1103.78cm
AMICA Contributor: The Cleveland Museum of Art
Owner Location: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
ID Number: 1953.126
Credit Line: Gift of the Hanna Fund
Context: The narrow horizontal format of the handscroll was one of the first to emerge in Chinese painting. Viewed section by section as they were unrolled, handscrolls lend themselves to sequential subjects such as narrative illustrations. When used for landscapes, they engender a sense of forward progress consonant with journeys through mountains and rivers. In many early examples like this famous scroll, ranges of hills run parallel to the picture plane, frequently removed from the viewer by a band of water coursing along the lower edge of the picture. The serial method of viewing handscrolls helps to explain the structure of this important painting, characterized by distinct mountain clumps framed at beginning and end by passages with misty valleys and low hills. Across the surface, paths and fortuitously placed boats provide means for forward progress linking populated spatial pockets marked by buildings that invite rest and repose. Framing the pockets and screening recession into deep space, high mountainsare amassed by superimposed forms of similar shape and design. Softening jagged mountains and easing transitions from one segment to the next, foliage appears at various scales, from recognizable trees in the foreground to soft, blurred dots in the distance. The authorship of this scroll continues to elude Chinese art historians. Combining elements drawn from a number of painters active in the tenth and eleventh centuries, the painting cannot predate the late Northern Song. In view of its eclecticism andthe miniaturization of its forms, it is possible that it was painted in northern China following the Tartar conquest that forced the removal of the Song capital to Hangzhou in the south. In this respect, it is noteworthy that the earliest surviving inscriptions added at the end of the scroll were written by government officials in the late Jin dynasty. K.W.
AMICA ID: CMA_.1953.126
AMICA Library Year: 1998
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