Under Emperor Xuan Zong’s reign in the Tang Dynasty, General Li Sixun (李思训 651-716) and his son, Li Zhaodao (李昭道), were both excellent artists in portraying natural landscapes. They are the founder of the so-called Northern school of professional painters and were given the nickname “General Li” and “General Li Junior” respectively.
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Guo Xi is a representative landscape painter of the Northern Song dynasty, depicting mountains, rivers and forests in winter. This piece shows a scene of deep and serene mountain valley covered with snow and several old trees struggling to survive on precipitous cliffs.