Wang Ximeng

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Work of Wang Xi Meng

Wang Ximeng (Chinese: 王希孟; pinyin: Wáng Xīmèng; Wade–Giles: Wang Hsi-meng) (1096–1119)[1] was a Chinese painter during the Song Dynasty, in the early twelfth century. A prodigy,[1] Wang was one of the most renowned court painters of the Northern Song period, and was taught personally by Emperor Huizong of Song himself. He died at the age of 23.[2]

A Thousand Li of Rivers and Mountains[edit]

Wang's only surviving work is a 11.9-meter (39 ft)-long scroll titled A Thousand Li of Rivers and Mountains (千里江山圖).[3] The painting, finished by Wang when he was only 18 in 1113,[4] was one of the largest in Chinese history, and has been described as one of the greatest works of Chinese art.[5] The painting is in the permanent collection of the Palace Museum in Beijing.[2]

"Chinese landscape paintings are “read,” meaning they are viewed, from right to left". But recently scholars state that this painting should be viewed as the whole panorama.[6] Perhaps, he used the technique of "Chinese occlusion" and the use of green and blue colors of Tang for creating of huge landscapes.[7][8] The large piece of silk painting should be laid on the old, time-worn wall. Looking through it at dawn or in the evening an artist could see landscapes that later he would depict in his own painting.[9]

A section of A Thousand Li of Rivers and Mountains section. Color on silk. Palace Museum, Beijing.
A section of A Thousand Li of Rivers and Mountains section. Color on silk. Palace Museum, Beijing.
Complete painting (as originally meant to be viewed, right-to-left)


  1. ^ a b Alfreda Murck (2000). Poetry and Painting in Song China: The Subtle Art of Dissent. Harvard Univ Asia Center. p. 123. ISBN 978-0-674-00782-6.
  2. ^ a b Dwight, Jane (2007). The Chinese Brush Painting Bible. North Light Books. p. 9. ISBN 978-1845431723.
  3. ^ Barnhart: Page 124.
  4. ^ Liu, Heping (1997). Painting and commerce in Northern Song Dynasty China, 960-1126. Yale University. p. 7.
  5. ^ Caradog Vaughan James (1989). Information China: the comprehensive and authoritative reference source of new China, Volume 3. Oxford: Pergamon Press. p. 1114. ISBN 0-08-034764-9.
  6. ^ How to Read a Chinese Landscape Painting Retrieved on 5 Mar 2018
  7. ^ Patricia Buckley Ebrey, "Emperor Huizong", published by Harvard University Press, London, 2014, p.215
  8. ^ Hombrich E.H., "Art and illusion", Phaidon Press, London, 1977
  9. ^ Sergey Demenok, the idea arthor, Фракталы как искусство, сборник статей (Fractals Heartland Arts, digest of articles) Published by Страта (Strata), St.Petersburg, 2015 (translation from English), p.75