The Southern Sung Period
THE upsets accompanying the defeat of Hui Tsung and the loss of northern China to the foreign invaders only disrupted the artistic activities for a short time. The new capital at Hang-chou became almost at once the center of culture, the Imperial Academy was re-established, and leading Northern Sung painters such as Li T'ang and Chao Po-chü transferred their activities to the Southern Sung court and became great favorites. However, the artistic developments which were to prove the glory of this period did not take place until the last part of the century, when a school of monochrome landscape painting emerged which has been considered, particularly in Japan and in the West, as the climax of Chinese painting. The tendencies which had appeared in such scrolls as the winter landscape now attributed to Li T'ang came to their fullest development around the year 1200, and the result was a school of painting which produced some of the greatest artists the world has ever known.
Strangely enough, the Chinese themselves never regarded the work of this school with the admiration it so richly deserves, although during the Sung period itself and also during the Ming period, it had a considerable reputation and exerted a great influence upon the artists of the day. The reason for this neglect on the part of Chinese scholars and critics was due to the fact that the leading painters, Ma Yüan and Hsia Kuei, were considered members of