Old Trees by a Cold Waterfall

Wen Cheng-ming (A.D. 1470-1559), Ming dynasty (A.D. 1368 1644)
Color and ink on silk. Hanging scroll. 194.1 x 59.3 cm.

Wen Cheng-ming was a native of Ch'ang-chou, Kiangsu. Originally Wen's name was Pi but he was better known through Iris style name, Cheng-ming. Excelling in calligraphy and noted for his paintings, Wen Cheng-ming was one of the Four Masters of the Ming dynasty.
One pine and one cypress grow together at the side of the painting. A dense and unbroken stone wall fills the background with no space to spare. From far above walls a cascade unifies the center of the composition. The use of the brush is extraordinary. This painting was done in A.D. 1549, when the artist was 80 years old. The purity and strength of the execution reflect the full maturity of his years.

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