High-Leg Treasure Horses
The High-Leg Treasure Horse is a thoroughbred horse with great stamina. When this treasure horse perspires, it appears to be bleeding due to the color of its perspiration. According to ancient legend, it is the most precious among all species of horses. It has the reputation of being able to travel over three hundred miles a day. Long mane hairs and a mighty, strong-willed, handsome appearance are its prominent characteristics.
The High-Leg Treasure Horses in this painting have longer legs than horses commonly seen in paintings. The hairs of their manes are also long and strong. An extremely rare brushwork technique that combines haziness with clarity was applied to paint the hairs of the horses. The gossamer-thin hairs are strong but pliable. One can clearly see the natural effect of sunlight on the horses’ manes. Moreover, contrasting variations of dark and light are seen in every hair. The hairs of the horses are depicted with a realistic effect that nonetheless transcend their natural look.
An artistic technique was used to thoroughly capture on paper the charm and atmosphere of the grassland, lake, sky, and land. The “haziness technique” was applied to express a stated of realization in which there is no distinction between emptiness and form.
The ancient cypress tree was drawn in one shade of green without the need to add decorative touches in several different shades of green. Both the spirit and form of the tree were captured though the artist’s brush. In addition, elegant charm is revealed by small number of dots of red leaves in the background that compliment the scene. The most difficult part of this work of art was painting the root, trunk, and leaves in a spontaneous, casual manner using the center brush-tip technique yet maintaining a scholarly tone. Such mastery of painting cannot be easily attained and requires solid skills in calligraphy, literature, and painting as well as noble moral character.
From the brushwork style and details of this painting, we can sense the profound inner-cultivation of a renowned scholar. The abilities of a literary giant with abundant talent are visible everywhere. The scholarly tone and brushwork style are skillful and vigorous, totally free of any trace of the mundane, and reflect the highest level of painting and calligraphy. Anyone who lifts a brush in an attempt to paint such painting will appreciate the fact that this scholarly style cannot be accomplished by anyone other than a literary giant who is a great master of art.
This painting coherently unites realism and small-scale freehand brushwork as well as the use of haze and clarity.
The “Menglong” style
Realism and non-realism are combined to capture the image of the subject portrayed, resulting in a seeming likeness but actual non-likeness of the subject. Brush strokes and color application produce a strong fanciful look to these paintings, a lovely, hazy look in which the real and the surreal mingle.
摘自：INTERNATIONAL ART MUSEUM OF AMERICA