Ni Zan (1301-1374) was a painter and poet in the Yuan Dynasty. His original name was Jue, later changed to Zan, with the alias Yuanzhen, also the alias Xuanying, the nickname Yunlin, the alias Huanxiazi, and the alias Jingmanmin. His aliases were Jushi, Zhuyang Pavilion Master, Cang Romantic Scholar, Ququansou, and Haiyue. The layman and others also signed their names Donghai Ni Zan and Lan Zan, changed their names to Xi Xuanlang, and often used Yunlin in their poems and paintings.

  Ni Zan was born in Jituo Village, Meili, Wuxi in the fifth year of Dade in the Yuan Dynasty (1301). My grandfather was a big landowner in his hometown. He was extremely wealthy and well-endowed in the township. My father died early. Among the three brothers, the eldest half-brother Ni Zhaokui, also known as Wenguang, was a high-ranking figure in Taoism at that time. He once "announced and accepted Changzhou Road Daolu", "mentioned the affairs of Kaiyuan Palace on Hangzhou Road", and "given the title of Elemental God Ying Chongdao Master" ", to give some advice to the host", and "specially given the real name, Xuanzhong Wenjie Zhenbai real person." The second brother (comatriot) Ni Ziying. In the Yuan Dynasty, the upper echelons of Taoism had a very high status and had various privileges. They did not have to suffer from labor and taxes, nor were they burdened by officialdom. Instead, they had extra ways to make money. Ni Zan was raised by his elder brother since he was a child, and his life was extremely comfortable and carefree. Ni Zhaokui invited Wang Renfu, a "real person" from his hometown, as his tutor. Ni Zan was influenced and educated by such a family, which developed his unusual life attitude. He was aloof, aloof, self-sufficient, independent of politics, and immersed in poetry, poetry and painting, which was very different from the Confucian ideals of the world. Therefore, he remained in office all his life.

  Although Ni Zan, as a teenager, had a wealthy family and a comfortable life, he did not get into the habit of a playboy, and he paid close attention to his own learning and cultivation. There is a three-story library "Qingzhen Pavilion" at home, which contains more than a thousand volumes of classics, histories, works, collections, Buddhist scriptures and Taoist books. Ni Zan read and wrote poems upstairs every day. In addition to carefully studying classics, he also dabbled in Buddhist and Taoist books. The "Qing Zhen Pavilion" also contains famous calligraphy paintings from past dynasties. The more recent ones include "Jian Ji Zhi Biao" by Zhong Yao of the Three Kingdoms, and the more recent ones include "Haiyu'an Picture" by Mi Fu of the Song Dynasty. Ni Zan played with these masterpieces day and night, copying them with all his heart, especially Dong Yuan's "Xiaoxiang Picture", Li Cheng's "Maolin Yuanxiu Picture", and Jing Hao's "Autumn Mountain Picture". He devoted himself to copying and imitating their charm and temperament. At the same time, he often went out to travel and described the valuable scenes and objects he saw. He carefully observed various phenomena in nature and sketched seriously. When he returned, his paintings were often full of paintings. On the one hand, Ni Zan paid attention to inheriting traditional techniques, learned from the strengths of various schools, and studied diligently, which laid a solid foundation for his later innovations in painting.

  In the fifth year of Yuan Taiding's reign (1328), his eldest brother Ni Zhaokui died suddenly of illness. Subsequently, his aunt Shao and his teacher Wang Renfu passed away one after another, making Ni Zan extremely sad. The privileges that he originally relied on his elder brother were completely lost. Ni Zan became an ordinary Confucian scholar, and his family's financial situation became increasingly difficult. With a sad mood, he wrote in his poem "Shu Ming", "I am sorry for you." He lost his father when he was young, and he was raised by his older brother. He is dedicated to study, abides by righteousness and wants to stay chaste. He studies history behind closed doors, and goes out to seek friends. He writes poems and poems, and makes many comments when he reads. He looks down on vulgar things, and his words are clear and eloquent. Wealth and honor are black. It is enough to say that what I have thought of is now named..." He elaborated on his painful environment at that time.

  The 20 years from the third year of Yuan Tianli (1330) to the eleventh year of Zhizheng (1351) were the mature period of Ni Zan's painting creation. During this period, Ni Zan socialized extensively, and most of his friends were monks, Taoist priests, poets, and painters. Most of the poems he wrote were written for singing with such people. His close friend Zhang Boyu was a well-known Taoist, for whom Ni Zan once carefully drew the "Picture of Wu Bamboo and Beautiful Rocks". Another famous painter he recommended, Huang Gongwang, was also a famous figure in the Quanzhen New Taoism at that time. He had profound Taoism and was 32 years older than him. Huang Gongwang once spent 10 years painting "The Landscape of Lands and Mountains" for Ni Zan. It is more than two feet and five feet long. It is one of the masterpieces of Huang's light crimson landscape. The scroll is inscribed "Zhi Zheng Wu Zi" (1348); Ni Zan was 48 years old at that time. At this time, he began to believe in Taoism (Quanzhen Religion), and developed a withdrawn character and a detached and escapist thought from reality. This thought was also reflected in his paintings, which showed desolate, simple, quiet and sparse intentions. .

  From the 13th year of Yuan Zhizheng (1353) to the 20 years after his death, Ni Zan roamed around Taihu Lake. He wandered around Jiangyin, Yixing, Changzhou, Wujiang, Huzhou, Jiaxing and Songjiang, amusing himself with poetry and painting. This period was also the heyday of Ni Zan's painting. He carefully observed the quiet and beautiful mountains and waters of Taihu Lake, understood their characteristics, concentrated, refined and summarized them, and created new composition forms and new brush and ink techniques, thus gradually forming a new artistic style. The work has a distinctive personality, and the brushwork is steep and simple. The close-up view is a slope of soil, with three or five trees planted nearby, and one or two thatched cottages. The upper part of the middle is blank to show the rippling lake waves and the clear sky, and the distant conversation is light. The mountains, the picture is quiet and tranquil, the realm is vast, this kind of style has never been seen before. During this stage, Ni Zan created "Picture of Pavilion in Pine Forest" (1354), "Picture of Autumn at Fishing Village" (1355), "Picture of Strange Rocks and Cinderella" (1360), "Picture of Ting Shu Distant Cen" (1363), "Picture of the River on the River" Many masterpieces such as "Autumn Colors" (1368) and "Yushan Forest Valley" (1371) had a huge influence on the later paintings of the Ming and Qing Dynasties, and he became one of the four great painters of the Yuan Dynasty.

  On September 18, the twenty-third year of Yuan Zhizheng (1363), his wife Jiang died of illness, and Ni Zan suffered a great blow. The eldest son died early and the second son was unfilial. Life became more and more lonely and helpless, and he was troubled, depressed, and at a loss as to what to do. In the early Ming Dynasty, Zhu Yuanzhang once called Ni Zan to serve in Beijing, but he refused to go. On May 27th, the fifth year of Hongwu's reign in the Ming Dynasty (1372), he wrote a poem titled "Ti Yan Zhen Wu" which says: "Only by the clear water, not stained by dust", indicating his unwillingness to be an official. When he wrote poems and inscriptions on the paintings, he only wrote about the Jiazi year, not the Hongwu year.

  In the seventh year of Hongwu in the Ming Dynasty (1374), Ni Zan stayed at the home of his in-law, Zou, in Changjing, Jiangyin. On the night of the Mid-Autumn Festival, he contracted spleen fatigue, so he went to the home of his friend Xia Zhi, a famous doctor, for medical treatment. Ni Zan fell ill and died in Xia Mansion on November 11 of the lunar calendar at the age of 74. His body was buried in Xili, Jiangyin, and later in his ancestral grave at the foot of Yingrong Mountain in Wuxi.

  Ni Zan was aloof and arrogant, pedantic in personality, indifferent to worldly affairs, and had never been an official in his life. According to "Yunlin Yishi" compiled by the Ming Dynasty, he once stayed with a guest and heard a cough at night. He ordered him to search carefully for any traces of phlegm the next morning. The servant couldn't find him. If he spit on the leaves of the sycamore tree outside the window, he ordered the leaves to be cut off quickly and thrown away far away from home. There is another legend about Ni Zan: Zhang Shixin, the younger brother of Zhang Shicheng, the "King of Wu", once sent someone with painting silk to ask him to paint, and gave him a lot of money. Ni Zan was furious and tore up the silk to refund the money. Unexpectedly, one day while boating on Tai Lake, I met Zhang and was beaten severely. Ni Zan remained silent at that time. When someone asked him afterwards, he replied: "It becomes commonplace as soon as you say it." Ni Zan once wrote a poem to describe his feelings: "Looking at vulgar things with a blind eye, speaking clearly and condescendingly, being rich and noble, and thinking about the name."

  Ni Zan has three unique qualities in poetry, calligraphy and painting. Ni Zan's paintings created a generation of ink landscape painting style, and together with Huang Gongwang, Wu Zhen and Wang Meng, he was known as the "Four Masters of the Yuan Dynasty". The painting method is sparse and simple, and the style is innocent and quiet, winning by indifference. Most of his works depict the landscapes around Taihu Lake, and the compositions mostly use flat and distant scenery. He is good at painting dead trees, bamboo and stone huts in the distance, and the scenery is extremely simple. Most of his paintings are scratched with dry brushes, and the brushwork is extremely simple. It is said to be "intentional or unintentional, as light as it is sparse", forming a desolate and depressing style. Among the four families of the Yuan Dynasty, Ni Zan enjoyed a high reputation in the minds of scholar-bureaucrats. He Liangjun of the Ming Dynasty said: "The great order of the calligrapher Yunlin is not a speck of dust." In the Ming Dynasty, people in the south of the Yangtze River were distinguished by whether they had collected his paintings or not. His painting practice and theoretical views had a great influence on the painting circles of the Ming and Qing Dynasties for hundreds of years. He is still rated as one of the "Top Ten Painters in Ancient China", and the British Encyclopedia Britannica lists him as a world cultural celebrity.

  Ni Zan is a calligrapher and painter with a unique personality. As an expert in calligraphy, he studied Zen and Taoism, wandered around the world, and used the charm of ice and snow to write his unique style of simplicity, simplicity, simplicity and elegance. Wen Zhengming and Dong Qichang both highly praised his calligraphy. Wen Zhengming commented: "Mr. Ni has a high moral character, and his letters have the style of the Jin and Song Dynasties." Dong Qichang commented: "The ancients were innocent and innocent, and he was just the next person after Mi Chi (ie Mi Fu)." Ni Zan stayed with Ge. Comparing the calligraphy I learned, they are two completely different styles, which is not immune to criticism. For example, Xiang Mu accused Ni Zan of "when he wrote, he was bitter and shabby. Even in the age of Lao Peng, he was never in a good state." Li Ruiqing, a modern calligrapher, believes: "Ni Tiao's writing is cold and elegant, without losing the etiquette of Jin people. It has the style of Linxia, ​​just like Yuanming (Tao Yuanming) in the poem, but it cannot be understood by carnivores." Ni Zan's handed down works There are "Sanyin Tie", "Yue Fazhou Tie", "Guest Poems", "Poems to Chen Weiyin", "Yu Suidu Zha", "Yu Liangchang Shihan", "Yu Shendu Two Slips", " "Miscellaneous Poems" and many more.