- Museum number
- Object: 茂林叠嶂圖; Maolin diezhang tu (Dense Forests and Layered Peaks)
Hanging scroll. Landscape. Ink and colour on silk.
- Production date
- 1951 (ca.)
Height: 185.50 centimetres (image)
Height: 254.50 centimetres (scroll including roller and hanging cord)
Width: 73.20 centimetres (image)
Width: 105.50 centimetres (scroll including roller)
- Curator's comments
Landscape, probably by Zhang Daqian (1899-1983), attributed to Juran
This landscape bears an attribution to the Buddhist priest Juran (fl. AD 960-80), one of the foremost masters of the Southern School of literati painting, as defined by Dong Qichang. The painting exemplifies the composition and style associated with Juran: the massive mountain is constructed of steep, evenly creviced, smooth slopes which are textured with 'hemp-fibre' brushstrokes and enlivened by ink dots. It closely resembles a late Ming or early Qing dynasty work in the Shanghai Museum also attributed to Juran (Xu Bangda, fig. 11).
Literature: Xu Bangda, 'Connoisseurship in Chinese painting and calligraphy: some copies and forgeries', Orientations (March 1988), pp. 54-62.
Zhang’s forgery of a landscape by Juran entered the British Museum collection in 1961 through the dealer Jiang Eshi (1913-72). Thought to be a genuine work by Juran, Zhang later confessed to have forged the painting. The imitation is, in fact, based on the scroll, Myriad Ravines, Wind in the Pines (wanhuo songfeng), traditionally attributed to Juran in the collection of the Shanghai Museum. The strong light effects and the floating dots of vegetation on the hilltops in the manner of Shitao (ca. 1642-1707), rather than Juran, indicate that this work is a product of the twentieth century artist Zhang Daqian. Other forgeries after Song masters by Zhang Daqian, mostly acquired through the same dealer, are in the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Honolulu Academy of Arts in Hawai’i and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery in Wasington D.C.
Ironically, Yan Shengbo (b. ca.1910), the previous owner of this painting, had asked the connoisseur Zhang Daqian for an authentification. Trying to avoid suspicion, Zhang Daqian wrote on a separate sheet.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
May-Sept 2012, BM Galleries 91, 'Modern Chinese Ink Painting'
- Acquisition date
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Asia painting number: Ch.Ptg.Add.314 (Chinese Painting Additional Number)