DONG Qichang
Mountain landscape 1617

Dong Qichang was a brilliant scholar and a prominent scholar-official of the Ming dynasty (1368–1644). To escape political turmoil at the imperial court in Peking (Beijing), his official life was interrupted by long intervals of retirement in the south. Through his paintings and writings, in which he restated the literati (scholar-amateur) theory of painting, Dong exerted great influence on his contemporaries and later generations. In this highly original and revolutionary work, the austere, solitary, semi-abstract landscape does not so much represent an actual place as express the artist’s inner spiritual world.