Landscape of Mount Putuo
On View: Asian Galleries, Southwest, 2nd floor
Peng Wei has painted a ghostly image of a Buddhist pilgrimage site within the unconventional frame of an ancient robe of an elite Han Chinese woman. The painting, swept with images both religious and secular, visually transports us on a spiritual journey toward the precarious peaks of the sacred mountain. Peng’s painting reveals not only her engagement with the female body as a site where representations of identity are inscribed but also her sense of nostalgia toward China’s collective history, in light of the impact of globalization upon its cultural heritage.
Mount Putuo is located on an island southeast of Shanghai, in Zhejiang province. It is one of four sacred mountains in Chinese Buddhism and is strongly associated with Guanyin, the bodhisattva of compassion, one of the most popular deities. Beginning about the twelfth century in China, Guanyin was depicted as female, unlike the earlier South Asian male prototype of the deity. As a female bodhisattva, Guanyin gained additional powers: relieving suffering, granting children, and acting as a patron of mothers and seafarers.
In this painting, people of different economic classes arrive in both large and small boats, docking at the base of the mountain and climbing up steps leading to the shore. They stroll past restaurants and shops; some pilgrims with backpacks climb steep slopes while elite Confucian scholar-bureaucrats ride horses to reach the temple compounds and a soaring pagoda nestled among the mountain cliffs. In the top right, farmers carry overloaded baskets on their backs as they climb the jagged mountain steps to rice fields surrounded by lush bamboo groves and eucalyptus trees. Rippling mountain peaks and swirling waves of water enhance the turbulence of the spiritual landscape. The figures depicted in the religious narrative are primarily male, of different economic and social classes.
Ink and colors on silk
57 7/8 x 82 11/16 in. (147 x 210 cm)
with cords and knobs: 60 1/4 × 84 in. (153 × 213.4 cm) (show scale)
Gift of Mrs. Roscoe C.E. Brown, Dr. Martin E. Frankel, Mr. and Mrs. Maxime L. Hermanos, and Chi Tiew-lui, by exchange
© Wei Peng
The Brooklyn Museum holds a non-exclusive license to reproduce images of this work of art from the rights holder named here.
The Museum does not warrant that the use of this work will not infringe on the rights of third parties. It is your responsibility to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions before copying, transmitting, or making other use of protected items beyond that allowed by "fair use," as such term is understood under the United States Copyright Act.
For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress
, Cornell University
, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums
, and Copyright Watch
For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright
If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
If you wish to contact the rights holder for this work, please email email@example.com
and we will assist if we can.
Peng Wei (Chinese, born 1974). Landscape of Mount Putuo, 2007. Ink and colors on silk, 57 7/8 x 82 11/16 in. (147 x 210 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mrs. Roscoe C.E. Brown, Dr. Martin E. Frankel, Mr. and Mrs. Maxime L. Hermanos, and Chi Tiew-lui, by exchange, 2014.55. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: , 2014.55_PS9.jpg)
overall, 2014.55_PS9.jpg., 2019
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome
any additional information you might have.