Wen Zhengming's 'Clearing After Snow'

1265 Words6 Pages
The painting Clearing after snow in a wintry grove of trees is a masterpiece of the Ming dynasty painter Wen Zhengming (1470-1559). This painting depicts a peaceful scene of mountains and trees after snow, with the inscription of Wen’s close friend, Wang Chong (1494-1533). By analyzing the imageries and allusions of the poem and the pictorial meaning of the painting, this short essay will interpret the identity of Wen Zhengming as a virtuous scholar, a hermit and an amateur painter.
This painting was Wen Zhengming’s gift for Hua Xia, who was a philosopher and an art collector. He finished this painting after an excursion to a mountain valley after snow in the year (1533) when he secluded from the court. The painting depicts a graceful snow landscape of Suzhou (蘇州) with many imageries, indicating the virtues that a scholar should have. The painting presents brightness, quietness, and remarkable calmness of nature after the snow instead of monotonous coldness. Two scholars are sitting by the open windows of their cottage, enjoying the snow view of the mountain and the sound of the water. Wen probably
…show more content…
Ancient people commonly believed that the stars were gods who govern different matters of the human world in both Eastern and Western cultures. The record of Shaowei as a name of a star god can be traced back to Shi Ji (史記), one of the most authoritative history books of China. It has the following explanation,“ In the western part of Tingfan (廷藩) area, there are five stars with weak light. They belong to the star group named Shaowei, which governs the scholar in the human world and can reincarnate as a scholar.” In later history books, the derivative meaning of Shaowei Star referred to hermits, which was more widely used. For example, in Jin Shu (晉書) of Tang Dynasty, Shaowei is recorded as the god who represents the

More about Wen Zhengming's 'Clearing After Snow'

Open Document