This painting by Zhang Daqian depicts the artist’s rendition of Wang Ximeng’s “A Thousand Li of Rivers and Mountains”. It was painted between January and February 1948, when Zhang was living in the Zhaojue Temple in Chengdu and still had excellent vision and physical strength, during the pinnacle of the artist’s height of traditional gongbi landscapes.
Along the waterfront, the stream meanders, ancient trunks coil, two scholars are accompanied by his servant on a stroll beneath the shade of the trees. On the promontory by the left, a dignified scholar gazes off into the distance, the azure waves extend into the vast expanse, seagulls circle round back, and a sail boat fades beyond the horizon.
Such dazzling views intoxicate the viewer, as the majestic demeanour of the painting also reveals the cultivated tastes of the literati.