A Thousand Miles of Rivers and Mountains is a painting scroll by Wang Ximeng,a
Chinese painter who lived during the Song Dinasty (960-1279). A prodigy, Wang was one
of the most renowned court painters of the Northern Song period, and was taught
personally by Emperor Huizong himself. He died very young.
A Thousand Miles of Rivers and Mountains, an 11.9 meter long scroll, is Wang’s only
surviving work. The painting, finished by Wang when he was only 18 in 1113, is one of
the largest in Chinese history and has been described as one of the greatest works of
The painting depicts a natural landscape of mountains, hills, lakes and rivers. Bright shades
of green and blue merge together to form the mountains. The landscape is rich of elements
portrayed in detail including mills, pagodas, bridges, fishermen, boats and birds. Each
figure is surrounded by emerald green and lapis, the dominant colors of this work that
emphasize the beauty of the natural landscape.
The painting, known as one of China’s top ten famous painting is now preserved in the
permanent collection of the Palace Museum in Beijing.
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