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Painting

Fishermen Returning on a Frosty Bank
T'ang Ti (ca. 1287-1355), Yüan dynasty (1279-1368)
Hanging scroll, ink and light colors on silk, 144 x 89.7 cm

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T'ang Ti (style name Tzu-hua; late sobriquet Tun-chai), a native of Wu-hsing in Chekiang, was precocious as a youth. When he came of age, his poetry and painting were held in high esteem by the local elite. He initially studied the landscape style of Chao Meng-fu, acquiring his polished and luxuriant manner. He later also turned to the styles of Wei Yen, Li Ch'eng, and Kuo Hsi, his greatest achievements being as a follower of the latter.

In this painting are two towering pine trees along with a few withered trees and autumnal trees mixed in. Three fishermen carry their gear as they converse joyfully while walking along a frosty bank. In the middleground is a misty expanse. Rocks were rendered using cloud-head texturing and slopes slightly in hemp-fiber strokes, with more dry strokes. Though some of the brushwork was done with a slanted brush, it was mostly centered with even outlines for a rounded feeling. The foreground water below the large rocky area was not done with hooked texturing, forming a focus on the main motifs with other elements downplayed. This follows the manner also found in the Museum's Kuo Hsi's "Early Spring", including the "crab-claw" branches. The background is done in layers of washes for rich ink tones to make the main scenery stand out. The artist's inscription at the middle left dates the work to 1338, making it mature masterpiece by T'ang Ti.
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