Streams and Mountains without End: Landscape Traditions of China

Exhibition Website

Aug 26 2017 - Aug 4 2019

From the standpoint of splendid scenery, painting cannot equal [real] landscape. But when it comes to the wonders of brush and ink, [real] landscape is no match for painting!
—Dong Qichang (1555–1636)

About a thousand years ago, the legendary Chinese landscape painter Guo Xi posed the question, "In what does a gentleman's love of landscape consist?" This question is at the heart of the exhibition, which will explore the many uses of landscape in the Chinese visual arts.

Showcasing more than 120 Chinese landscape paintings in three rotations, the exhibition will offer gateways into the tradition, drawing out distinctions between types of landscape that may not be obvious at first glance. What initially appears to be a simple mountain dwelling, for example, is revealed to be the villa of the painter's friend, which encodes a wish for his happy retirement; what seems at first to be a simple study in dry brushwork turns out to be an homage to an old master, a sign of reverence for what had come before.

Drawn primarily from The Met's holdings, supplemented by a dozen private loans, the presentation will be augmented by decorative art objects with landscape themes.

Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website

  • Various Media
  • Asian
  • Landscape

Exhibition Venues & Dates