Ma Yüan

Ma Yüan mä yüän [key], fl. c.1190–1225, Chinese painter of the Sung dynasty and foremost of the Ma family of painters. He became one of the most important landscape painters of the 12th and 13th cent., the other being Hsia Kuei. He was known for his “one-cornered” compositions, in which dramatic effect was achieved by crisp, forceful brushstrokes, asymmetrical arrangement of elements, and drastic elimination of all but essentials. Attribution of his works is difficult because many later painters followed his style and because toward the end of his life he collaborated with his son Ma Lin, often signing his own name to his son's works. Landscape with Willows (Mus. of Fine Arts, Boston) is generally attributed to Ma Yüan, as are album leaves in the Cleveland Museum of Art and at the Metropolitan Museum in New York.

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