Liang Kai was a native of Dongping in Shandong who settled in Qiantang (modern Hangzhou, Zhejiang). In the Jiatai era (1201–1204) he served as Painter-in-Attendance. He refused the prestigious Golden Belt, however, leaving it hanging at the imperial court. In this painting, the second leaf from the album "Assorted Gems of Famous Paintings," is a squinting immortal chuckling as he walks along. With his chest and abdomen exposed, he seems to be shuffling forward. Except for the fine outlines of his head and facial features, nearly all of the clothing was done with wet applications of monochrome ink. The brush was freely handled to bring out everything in the thoroughly drunken appearance of this immortal. This type of unrestrained painting by Liang Kai, with its abbreviated brushwork rich in Chan overtones, was highly favored by Japanese monks and laymen, later having a great influence on Zen painting in Japan.
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