Learning from Mount Hua: A Chinese Physician's Illustrated Travel Record and Painting Theory

Originally published in 1993, Learning from Mount Hua is a close study of a travelog written and illustrated by a late fourteenth-century Chinese physician and amateur painter, Wang Lu. Transformed by the experience of scaling Mount Hua, the Sacred Mountain of the West, Wang struggled to free himself from existing vocabularies of mountain forms and established conventions for travel painting. The final result is an album of forty unusual paintings and a moving travel record, translated here for the first time. Having reconstructed the original sequence of the paintings, Liscomb relates these landscapes to the travel record, helping the reader share Wang's experiences. Liscomb also translates the preface accompanying the Mt. Huaalbum and another of his essays on landscape painting and argues that it is necessary not only to analyse them in relation to contemporary and earlier art theories, but also in connection with Wang's writings as a medical scholar.