Rongxi Studio (容膝齋圖)
Ni Zan (倪瓚, 1301–1374), Yuan Dynasty
Hanging scroll, ink on paper, 74.7 x 35.5 cm, National Palace Museum, Taipei
This work was done by Ni Zan in 1372, at the age of 71. The colophon states that the painting was first given to Ni’s friend, Boxuan (檗軒), who kept it for two years and then gave it to his physician-friend Renzhong (仁仲), who asked the artist to inscribe a poem. Rongxi Studio was the residence of the physician, so the painting was done before the inscription was later added. The brushwork is especially bland and refined, with tonal variations in the trees most carefully built up. An upright brush with point-centered energy has been employed more often than a slanted brush, and broken hemp-fiber strokes are more frequent than washes in the modeling of the rocks.