41) Wang Meng (1308-1385). Hermit Dwelling in the Ch'ing-pien Mountains. Ink and color on paper. Dated 1366. Wang Meng, the y6ungest of the four masters and Chao's nephew, stands at the opposite end of the spectrum of YOan landscape painting from Ni Tsan. Wang's landscape paintings are characterized by textural lushness, an intense verticality, and an urge to full the entire surface of the scroll. This particular painting is among the most daring and experimental in all of Chinese art history. It draws upon the Tung Ydan tradition, adds elements from Kuo Hsi (slide no. 20), but transcends both of these former masters in its violation of the then-accepted norms of what a landscape painting should be like. The painting is wild, almost unintelligible in its presentation of space and form and strangely unnatural in its highly unusual lighting. There is no central, stabilizing point of view, and the painting can barely contain the forces generated within it. The brushwork of the painting changes continually, now soft, now sharp; now pale, now dark; now dry, now wet. The effect is to make the landscape pulse with a violent energy, as landscape forms push from the painting's surface, then sink into it again. Such works of Wang Meng, of which Hermit Dwelling is the best example, were harbingers of the later "fantastic" landscape paintings of the Ming dynasty (see slide No. 51 below).

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