Landscape (in the manner of Lu Kuang (active ca. 1325-1359))
Hanging scroll: ink on paper
h 34 x w 13 inches
h: Mei-hua ku-na, Yün-yin
Hung-jen was born in Chiang T'ao in Hsieh-hsien, Anhui province. He reportedly lived in poverty, yet he managed to obtain
an education and an official degree, which would have allowed him to work in the civil service. However, with the fall of
the Ming in 1644, he, like many other painters, chose to remain loyal to the Ming and thus became an I-min or "leftover subject."
He became a Buddhist monk, took the name Hung-jen, and went to work in the deep mountains of Anhui. He reportedly seldom left
his home on Mt. Huang other than to visit friends in Hangchou, Yangchou, and Nanking.
Hung-jen is regarded as the leading artist in the Anhui school, a loosely defined group that used the distinctive landscape
of the Anhui area for creative inspiration. He was considered one of the "Four Masters of Anhui."
In this, one of his late masterpieces, he follows the Yüan dynasty painter Lu Kuang, who he mentions in the inscription. He
uses the same compositional types as Lu Kuang, in particular the building up of forms to create substance and depth. Hung-jen
is known to have been especially concerned with adhering to Yüan dynasty models and is credited with having brought the Yüan
master Ni Tsan's style back into favor.
"[This painting] isn't the more favored kind of Hung-jen with angular, geometric forms, but it is still genuine and fine,
from late in his life."