Ma Yuan, style name Chin-shan, was a painter-in-attendance at the Imperial Art Academy of the Ning-tsung emperor (reigned 1189-1224) of the Southern Sung Dynasty. He painted landscapes, figures, and bird-and-flowers, all with the utmost marvelousness. Ma’s fame rivalled that of his contemporary Hsia Kuei, and thus the two are often paired under the name “Ma-Hsia”.
Two men leaning against a railing gaze at the distant tide on the Ch’ien-t’ang River, the rushing waves curling upward like clouds stretching out for several miles and seeming to emit a tremendous roar. At the river’s edge stands a grove of old pines whose branches and leaves grow in different directions, fully endowing them with the typical gesture of Ma Yuan’s “dragged branch” style. Although Ma Yuan’s signature appears among the boulders, the style of this painting differs slightly from Ma Yuan’s decisive and forceful manner; perhaps it its the work of a later painter following Ma’s style.
This painting is the third leaf in the album “Collected Treasures of Famous Painting”.