DAO JI (SHITAO)
Autumn Landscape, 1701
Hanging scroll; ink and color on paper
Signatures: Zing-Xiang chen ren, Dadizu, and Shitao
Seals: five of the artist, two of the collector Ouyang Lin dated 1907, three of collectors in lower left, and four in the lower right corner
Charlotte E. W. Buffington Fund
An eminent theorist on art, well schooled in the painting of the past, Dao Ji (also known as Shitao) became the greatest of all Qing period (about 1644-1912) artists. In an era of strict allegiance to earlier styles, this independent artist abandoned established traditions and developed methods from the interaction with his own place and time. His declaration that he followed no style was revolutionary for the historically minded Chinese.
While this work lacks the balance and control of Dao Ji's works of the 1680s and 1690s, it shows an exemplary willingness to take risks, even late in life. Also an outstanding calligrapher, Dao Ji referred to the creation of the painting and the poem that inspired it in the expressive and elegant inscription at the upper right.