Landscape in the style of Ni Zan by Wang Hui, a fan painting

China, 17th-18th centuries AD

Although this painting is by the artist Wang Hui (1632-1717), the influence of Ni Zan (1301-74) is clear. The clump of trees, the empty pavilion in the foreground and the horizontal strokes and ink dots depicting the mountains are all typical of the Yuan master. In fact, Wang Hui comments: 'All of Ni Zan but not all of Wang Hui is contained in this'.

Wang Hui was one of a group of painters known as the Four Wangs: orthodox masters of the early Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). The others were Wang Shimin, Wang Jian and Wang Yuanqi. Most of the calligraphy covering this fan consists of inscriptions by Wang Hui's contemporaries.

Chinese fans are often decorated with landscapes. Two types of fan are used: the first is nearly circular and made of stiffened silk mounted on a bamboo stick. The second type is curved and folding, made of paper mounted between thin bamboo sticks. This folding type was introduced to Europe from China.

Fan paintings were often created as gifts for a particular occasion and many are dated. Their size made them ideal as presents. Many also include calligraphic inscriptions from friends and comments on the painting.

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More information


J. Rawson (ed.), The British Museum book of Chi (London, The British Museum Press, 1992)


Width: 48.500 cm

Museum number

Asia OA 1972.9-18.04 Add.375


Given by Jean-Pierre Dubosc


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