A Scholar Contemplating a Waterfall, c. 1525

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A scholar pauses to contemplate a waterfall as it cascades down the mountain, attended to by a servant boy, who carries his books. This traditional theme in Chinese painting relates to the eremitic genre, in which nature and solitude are celebrated as aims of an elevated, scholarly life. It also has religious evocations. The flowing water represents the essence of the otherworldly or immortal and embodies Daoist philosophy, which posits that the meaning of life can be sensed, but not fully understood or translated into language. The painter Zhang Lu adopted and developed the so-called ax-cut-like broad-brushstroke idiom, seen here in the depiction of the rocks, outlined with bold dark lines and washed with broad strokes of lighter ink.



Lu, A Poet Contemplating a Waterfall (#175)
A Scholar Contemplating a Waterfall
Artist Life
c. 1464 - c. 1538
Accession Number
Curator Approved

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