(left) Yuan Jie
(Dates unknown, 16th century)
Landscape after Ni Zan (1301-1374), 1554

  • Ming dynasty (1368-1644)
  • Ink on paper
  • Mark and Dolores Pratt Collection

(right) Lan Ying
(1578- active beyond 1660)
Landscape after Ni Zan (1301-1374), 1647

  • Qing dynasty (1644-1911)
  • Ink on paper
  • Mark and Dolores Pratt Collection

“To paint without taking the Sung and Yuan masters as one's basis is like playing chess on an blank chessboard, without pieces.”
Wu Li (1631-1718)



Both of these landscapes strongly allude to the style of the Yuan dynasty artist Ni Zan. Dry, sparsely applied ink, the ‘one-river, two banks’ composition, the solitary hut in the foreground, were all characteristics of the earlier master, that later artists sought to creatively reinterpret. Although the stylistic references are unmistakable, the individual methods of the respective artists are also apparent when you look at the details of each painting.

Click here to see the painting that Yuan Jie and Lan Ying were inspired by, now in the collection of the National Palace Museum, Taibei, Taiwan.