Huang Gongwang’s “Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains” is an extremely important and famous painting in the collection of the National Palace Museum, and it also a representative work of Chinese literati art. The natural grasp of the landscape in this famous handscroll by Huang Gongwang and the diverse sketchy variations to the brush and ink concretely manifest the spirit of Yuan dynasty literati art and had a profound influence on the development of ink painting in the following Ming and Qing dynasties.
Starting from the year that Huang Gongwang finished “Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains” (1350), this work has been considered a masterpiece among masterpieces, enjoying an illustrious reputation in the subsequent history of Chinese painting. Despite its great value in art history, it was almost destroyed intentionally by fire in the early Qing dynasty. It was fortunately saved, but not before damage resulted in the first section of the painting being remounted and becoming known as “The Remaining Mountain.” The painting on the remaining six sections of paper would retain the title “Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains.”
For more then 360 years, “The Remaining Mountain” and “Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains” have been collected in their separate ways. Tales like the above abound with regard to this scroll. Another that is often told involves its alternate name as “The Master Wuyong Scroll,” in reference to an inscription on the painting as being presented to Alchemist Zheng Wuyong. This name is to distinguish the scroll from its compositional twin, which gives the name “Ziming” and is hence known as “The Ziming Scroll.” Both of these paintings are in the National Palace Museum collection. The Ziming scroll entered the Qing imperial collection in 1745 during the Qianlong reign and the Wuyong scroll followed it the next year (1746). The Qianlong Emperor erroneously believed the Ziming scroll to be authentic, later considering the Wuyong one as a copy and thereby leading to considerable debate among following generations.
Now “The Remaining Mountain” and “The Master Wuyong Scroll” are being brought together for the first time in this special exhibition of “Landscape Reunited: Huang Gongwang and ‘Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains,’” with “The Ziming Scroll” being presented in another section of the display entitled “Copies and Imitations of ‘Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains.’” By means of this exhibition, viewers can come away with a complete overview to the original appearance of “Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains” and an understanding of its influence on painters of the Ming and Qing dynasties.