Landscape Painting Scroll by Ming Dynasty Mster Painter Wen Boren (1502-1575)
Wen Boren [Wen Po-jen; zi Dezheng; hao Wufeng]
(b Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, 1502; d Suzhou, 1575). Painter, nephew of Wen Zhengming and cousin of Wen Jia, Part of the Wen family. He was renowned for his mean personality: as a youth he lost a legal dispute with his uncle and teacher, Wen Zhengming, and was imprisoned. Like Wen Jia, he failed the provincial juren (second degree) civil service examinations. Perhaps because of his cantankerous character, he did not often participate in Suzhou scholarly gatherings, nor was he as actively involved in WU SCHOOL activities as were his cousins Wen Peng (1498–1573) and Wen Jia; his paintings do not usually bear inscriptions by his contemporaries, and colophons by him are rare. The critic Wang Shizhen (1526–90) marvelled at how such a vile person could produce such fine landscapes. A portrait of Wen Zhengming dated in correspondence with 1526 by Wen Boren is in the National Palace Museum, Taipei.
The Wen Family
Chinese family of artists. The Wen family formed the core of the Wu school artists active in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, during the 16th century. They were descended from a prominent family, which since the Song period (960–1279) had produced distinguished scholars and officials. The most talented among them was (1) Wen Zhengming, who personally tutored his two sons, Wen Peng (1498–1573) and (2) Wen Jia, and his nephew (3) Wen Boren. Wen Peng (1489–1573) was a calligrapher and advisor to the collector Xiang Yuanbian. He also collaborated with his younger brother Jia on painting, poetry and calligraphy projects.
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