Reference Entry

Chen Ruyan

Claudia Brown

in Oxford Art Online


Published online January 2003 | e-ISBN: 9781884446054 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/gao/9781884446054.article.T016305

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[Ch’en Ju-yen; zi Weiyun; hao Qiushui, Xiaohu]

(b Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, ?1331; d 1371).

Chinese painter and scholar. He grew up in the Lake Tai region of Jiangsu Province, the area around which literati artists of the Yuan (1279–1368) and early Ming (1368–1644) periods were active. The Yuan dynasty was in decline, attended by political turmoil and military strife, and Chen served in military and civil positions first under the rebel leader Zhang Shicheng and then under Zhu Yuanzhang, the founder and first emperor (Hongwu, reg 1368–98) of the Ming dynasty. Chen’s painting career spanned barely two decades; he was not prolific, but his small corpus of extant works presents a well-focused image of the range and style and expression available to a scholar–painter in the Suzhou area from the late 1350s to the early 1370s.

Chen’s earliest extant work, Picture of the Jing River (Jing xi tu; hanging scroll, ink on silk; Taipei, N. Pal. Mus.), executed when he was not yet 30, was commissioned with specific requirements. Painted for the Wang family, recently displaced from their villa by the Jing River because of rebel fighting, the scroll presents a panoramic composition using long hemp-fibre texture strokes (...

Reference Entry.  596 words. 

Subjects: Painting ; East Asian Art

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