Shitao's art expresses nature with a very tiny place left to human beings to fit into this immensity. He is a poet : his technique of drawing is highly original for his time, preferring washings and hatchings instead of the line. His landscapes cannot be located and are probably more imaginary than contemplative.
On April 3 in Hong Kong, Sotheby's sells an album of twelve drawings 14 x 26 cm in ink and colors, lot 2900. The human presence in the wilderness is symbolized by a hermitage, a group of houses or a bridge and sometimes animated by a quiet character. Each drawing bears the seal of the artist.
The wise man merged into nature before he died. The calligraphy of the twelfth drawing is dated dinghai with an evocation of the artist's illness. Dinghai, 1707 of our calendar, is the year of the death of Shitao aged 65. The album was dated with the same year by an admirer. It is in some way the artistic testament of a sage.