Forest Grotto in Juqu

Forest Grotto in Juqu, 1370, Wang Meng
68.8 cm42.5 cm

Forest Grotto in Juqu is a Yuan Dynasty Ink and Paper Drawing created by Wang Meng in 1370. It lives at the National Palace Museum, Taipei in Taiwan. The image is available via Institutional Open Content, and tagged Trees and Calligraphy. Source

Wang Meng brings his distinctively dense brushwork to this painting of the Forest Chamber Grotto at Lake Tai. The composition is claustrophobic, but it can be deciphered by looking closely at his brush-strokes.

Wang used a blend of traditional brush techniques to distinguish the different elements of the Grotto: “ox-tail” textured strokes delineating the landscape forms, long “hemp-fiber” strokes create the tree trunks. Combined with the dense “moss” dots, layers of ink washes were also added to create a distinction between light and dark. Finally, Wang Meng used touches of ocher and red to provide this painting with the hue of autumn.

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