Mr Chen Rentao (Chen Jen Dao, 1906-1968) was a veteran collector of Chinese art, paintings and coins. The collection King Kwei Studio was named after he acquired the treasured antique coin, King Kwei Zhi Wan. Mr Chen also edited Essays on Chinese Antiquities which was published in 1952. Part of his collection was exhibited in the first Hong Kong Festival of the Arts in 1955.
This painting features the typical composition of "one river, two shores", which was the favorite form of Ni Zan, a renowned painter in the Yuan dynasty. In the foreground is a clump of lush and towering trees on a hillside, all skillfully painted with different shades of ink and brushstrokes. Behind those trees, river water flows tranquilly around the rocks. The background consists of verdant hills and valleys, among which several cottages can be spotted. With careful uses of ink and brushwork, the artist creates a landscape existing only in his mind, rather than a reproduction of a real natural scene. Obviously it vindicates his theory that while in reality nature is much stranger than landscape, in the art world it is the other way round.