Signed and dated in print, l.l.: Tancrède ; l.l.: T Abraham sculp. ; l.r.: Imp. Delâtre, Rue St. Jacques, 303, Paris ; l.c.: LA JOUANE Paris, Publié par CADART & LUQUET, Editeurs, 79, Rue Richilieu. ; u.r.: 276.
Three seals of the artist: Seiten hakujitsu kozan taisen (blue sky, white sun; lofty mountain, great river, at upper right corner); Zansei-ji taiko, Nitsucho-nyo shonen (The mountain in tranquality looks like it is in the ancient times; a long, long day is as if a short year. After signature)
Inscription: Ni Zan dvocated that painting should be painted with free brushes and light ink. The untrammelled strokes are not executed for the purpose of realistic depiction. To paint is only to amuse oneself. This is the true "archaic taste." Therefore, I painted after him. Fall, Aug. 8, 1867.
Also translated: Ni Yunlin [a.k.a. Ni Zan, 1301–1374] advocated that painting should be done with free brushes and light inks. Untrammeled brushwork does not seek to imitate reality; [painting] is done to amuse oneself. This is true “archaic taste.” Therefore [I have done this painting] following his intent. 1867, autumn, 8th month. Hine.
A lone pavilion sits among trees in the foreground. Birds flock nearby, and in the background are more trees and rocky formations. Calligraphic texts in in the upper right corner.
This landscape is in direct homage to Ni Zan, one of the so-called “four masters” of Yuan literati painting. Ni was known for his fastidious personality, which is reflected in his spare compositions—often split between a foreground island with an empty pavilion and distant hills—and his grudging use of ink. Ni’s paintings tend to be relatively small works on paper that communicate as deeply personal statements; here, Taizan elevates Ni’s style to iconic and public status by reworking it at a monumental scale.