Landscape, Shen Tzu-fan, Sung Dynasty (960-1279)

Shen Tzu-fan, Sung Dynasty (960-1279)
Hanging scroll, silk tapestry, 83.3 x 35.8 cm

     Colored silk threads were woven here onto a base of light silk to form this tapestry. In the landscape, an expanse of water separates the foreground and background. Of the two tall trees on the flat outcropping in front, one extends along the left almost to the back, where a peak rises above the clouds with mountains behind. A scholar lies in a skiff moored below as another one sits in the pavilion above. In the lower right is the woven seal of the tapestry artisan Shen Tzu-fan, the dates and biography of whom are unknown. Nonetheless, the weaving in this tapestry is exceptionally fine. Colored threads suggest the colors of a painting for modeling, much like a blue-and-green landscape. Though volume and light are most difficult to suggest in a tapestry, they are quite successfully rendered here. Boat and facial features as well as some outlines of the mountains, clouds, tree trunks, leaves, and rocks were also brushed with ink.