Hsia Kuei, whose style name was Yu-yu was a native of Ch’ien-t’ang, Chekiang. He served in the Painting Academy under Ning Tsung (r. 1195-1224) as Painter-in-Attendance. He also received from the emperor the Golden Girdle award. In his painting of figures and landscapes, the gradations of ink tone and hoary brush strokes give one an impression of great moistness.
Two weeping willows and a large rock provide the focus of the painting. A small path cuts through grasses and rocks to a pier. A solitary figure in a small boat floats amidst sand bars and reeds. In the background, a broad sweep of ink and colored wash forms a screen of mountain upon which small trees are dotted. The scene has a pure and dramatic feeling, which is accentuated by the strong brushwork.