Hostelry in the Mountains


Artist: Yan Ciyu 閻次于 (active 1160s-1180s)
Historical period(s)
Southern Song dynasty, mid- to late 12th century
Ink and color on silk
H x W (image): 25.5 x 25.9 cm (10 1/16 x 10 3/16 in)
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Album, Painting

Album leaf

China, landscape, Southern Song dynasty (1127 - 1279), WWII-era provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable
Previous Owner(s)

Tonying and Company
Pang Yuanji 1864-1949


Typical of many Southern Song landscapes, much of the silk in this album leaf is empty while the painted area is concentrated in one corner. This compositional practice reflects the prevailing philosophical concept derived in part from Chan, or Zen, Buddhism that substance emerges from emptiness. The stylistic emphasis on subtle atmospheric effects reinforces this meditative mood. The artist Yan Ciyu and his more famous older brother Ciping presented examples of their painting to Emperor Xiaozong (reigned 1163-90) soon after he ascended the throne. Both brothers were awarded positions in the imperial painting academy and went on to illustrious careers. The small painting, signed on the rocks at lower right, is the only genuine work by Yan Ciyu known to survive.

To learn more about this and similar objects, visit Song and Yuan Dynasty Painting and Calligraphy.

Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Song and Yuan Dynasty Painting and Calligraphy
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum