Museum Hours
Thu: 1 PM–8 PM
Fri–Mon: 10 AM–5 PM
Tue–Wed: Closed
200 Larkin Street
San Francisco, CA 94102

Exquisite Nature: 20 Masterpieces of Chinese Painting (14th - 18th C.)

Mar 2, 2015 – Nov 1, 2015

Exquisite Nature presents masterpieces from some of China’s most influential painters of the 14th–18th centuries.

These rarely seen paintings include variations on popular subjects such as landscape, birds-and-flowers, country life and historical stories. Though differing in style and geographical representation, each artwork offers a unique take on a shared theme: humankind’s celebration of the natural world.

Many of the paintings displayed are on loan from the Tang family collection, including several major works seldom presented to the public.

Ni Zan’s (1301–1374) River Pavilion, Mountain Colors is a spare, balanced depiction of an empty thatch pavilion from one of China’s most influential artists. “Traveling deep in the mountains” by Wen Zhengming (1470–1559)—one of the great masters of the Wu school—expresses a wistful longing for liberated life in the remote mountains. Finally, “100 cranes among pine trees” by Zou Yigui (1682–1772) ranks among the best examples of Qing court painting. This unusually large creation imagines more than 100 cranes in pine forests on mountain summits, and demonstrates Zou’s mastery of precise details rendered with elegant brushstrokes.

Main image: River Pavilion, Mountain Colors (detail), 1368, by Ni Zan (Chinese, 1301–1374). Ink on paper. On Loan from the Collection of The Tang Family, R1989.99. Image © Asian Art Museum, San Francisco.

Organizers & Sponsors

Exquisite Nature: 20 Masterpieces of Chinese Painting (14th­–18th c.) was organized by the Asian Art Museum.