Soie, Encre, Couleurs - Pigments
嘉靖丁未夏日畫於毘陵舟中,石門子高濲; 高瀔之印; 石門
Don manuel : Rampini (Madame)
Inscription and signature: 款識: 嘉靖丁未夏日畫於毘陵舟中，石門子高濲。
Painter’s seals: 印: 1.高濲之印 (白文) 2.石門 (朱文)
Translation: “Painted on a boat in Piling in the summer of the Dingwei Year of the Jiajing Reign (1547), Gaogu, Shimen zi (literary name of Gaogu)” Gao Gu 高濲, a painter and calligrapher from Fuzhou, was active in the first half of the 16th century. He wrote a calligraphy treatise on the writing of the lishu lun scribes 隸書論, and poems that were compiled in the anthology of his works Shimen ti 石門集. Most of Gao Gu’s painted oeuvre appears to have been lost. According to literary sources, Gao Gu was a multi-disciplinary artist who excelled in the landscape, figure and bird-and-flower painting genres. His works depicting Immortals illustrate these various skills: the landscape forming the setting for this gathering is painted with concision and energy, contrasting with the extremely well observed depiction of the figures’ faces, and with the meticulous and naturalistic rendering of the flowers in the foreground.
In its size and style, this painting corresponds to the large-scale compositions that were favoured in the imperial entourage. Under the Ming, the stylistic vocabulary of court painting borrowed significantly from the Song masters. Similar technical borrowings can be seen in Gao Gu’s painting, in which the line of the trees and the surface of the rocks recall the academic style of the Southern Song painters. The manner in which the four Immortals inhabit this landscape is also reminiscent of certain court paintings from the late 15th century. The stylistic connection between Gao Gu’s work, dated 1547, and paintings from the height of the imperial academy, illustrate a continuity in pictorial tradition running parallel to the innovations introduced in this period by the painters of the Wu school.