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Travelers among Valleys and Peaks
Place of Origin: China
Date: approx. 1200-1300
Historical Period: Jin dynasty (1115-1234) or Yuan dynasty (1271-1368)
Object Name: Hanging scroll
Materials: Ink and light colors on paper
Dimensions: H. 42 in x W. 15 3/4 in, H. 106.7 cm x W. 40 cm (image); H. 79 1/4 in x W. 21 1/8 in, H. 201.3 cm x W. 53.7 cm (overall)
Credit Line: The Avery Brundage Collection
Department: Chinese Art
Collection: Painting
Object Number: B66D1.a-.b
On Display: No

Description

Label:

The towering mountain landscape, the suggestion of atmospheric depth, and even the small figures traveling through this landscape are borrowed from Guo Xi (approx. 1020–1090), a painter active at the Northern Song court a century or more before the likely date of this painting. The reasons for the persistence of this style are found in historical events. The capital of the Song dynasty was captured by the Jurchen people from the north in 1127; the Chinese then moved their capital to the south. Thus the Song dynasty is commonly divided by historians into the Northern Song (960–1127) and Southern Song (1127–1279) dynasties.

Artistic production did not stop in the north after the conquest. The new rulers established their own dynasty, the Jin, and supported the arts as had their Song predecessors. Since the Song imperial art collection had been seized during the conquest, painters at the Jin imperial court had more direct access to examples of earlier styles than did their Southern Song counterparts. As a result, these earlier styles remained in strong use in the north.


More Information

Exhibition History: "Chinese Treasures from the Avery Brundage Collection", Asia House Gallery (New York) 1/18/1968-3/3/1968, Detroit Institute of Arts 3/26/1968-5/7/1968, The Art Institute of Chicago 6/5/1968-7/7/1968, Honolulu Academy of Arts 8/1/1968-9/15/1968, Seattle Art Museum 10/15/1968-11/24/1968, Portland Art Museum 12/5/1968-12/27/1968, M. H. De Young Memorial Museum 1/15/1969-2/16/1969

"Gems of Chinese Art: From the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, The Avery Brundage Collection", Hong Kong Museum of Art, 5/17/1983-8/7/1983.

"San Francisco Bay Area Collects Asian Art: The Museum's 20th Anniversary Exhibition", Asian Art Museum, January 25 - March 4, 1986

"Masterpieces of Oriental Art from the Collection of the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco", Kyoto National Museum, 10/17/1995 - 11/26/1995
Label:

The towering mountain landscape, the suggestion of atmospheric depth, and even the small figures traveling through this landscape are borrowed from Guo Xi (approx. 1020–1090), a painter active at the Northern Song court a century or more before the likely date of this painting. The reasons for the persistence of this style are found in historical events. The capital of the Song dynasty was captured by the Jurchen people from the north in 1127; the Chinese then moved their capital to the south. Thus the Song dynasty is commonly divided by historians into the Northern Song (960–1127) and Southern Song (1127–1279) dynasties.

Artistic production did not stop in the north after the conquest. The new rulers established their own dynasty, the Jin, and supported the arts as had their Song predecessors. Since the Song imperial art collection had been seized during the conquest, painters at the Jin imperial court had more direct access to examples of earlier styles than did their Southern Song counterparts. As a result, these earlier styles remained in strong use in the north.


Exhibition History: "Chinese Treasures from the Avery Brundage Collection", Asia House Gallery (New York) 1/18/1968-3/3/1968, Detroit Institute of Arts 3/26/1968-5/7/1968, The Art Institute of Chicago 6/5/1968-7/7/1968, Honolulu Academy of Arts 8/1/1968-9/15/1968, Seattle Art Museum 10/15/1968-11/24/1968, Portland Art Museum 12/5/1968-12/27/1968, M. H. De Young Memorial Museum 1/15/1969-2/16/1969

"Gems of Chinese Art: From the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, The Avery Brundage Collection", Hong Kong Museum of Art, 5/17/1983-8/7/1983.

"San Francisco Bay Area Collects Asian Art: The Museum's 20th Anniversary Exhibition", Asian Art Museum, January 25 - March 4, 1986

"Masterpieces of Oriental Art from the Collection of the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco", Kyoto National Museum, 10/17/1995 - 11/26/1995
Resources:

Video: The Elusive Nature of Jin Dynasty (1115-1234) Painting (Part 1 of 2): http://youtu.be//u3l0gBgBED4
Video: The Elusive Nature of Jin Dynasty (1115-1234) Painting (Part 2 of 2): http://youtu.be/e0r-EOB3nMw

Stephen Little of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) disucsses the painting, "Travelers Among Valleys and Peaks," considered an iconic masterwork in the Asian Art Museum's collection. A lecture presented by the Society for Asian Art on February 27, 2015.