Wang Wei, Snow Over Rivers and Mountains, reproduced by Wang Shih-min (1592-1680)

Perhaps because Wei was first and foremost a poet he did not try to paint things as they look to the eye but instead concentrated on how they would affect the viewer. Wei once said "that to paint a mountain one must first know its spiritual form." Wei's mountains had a softness to them because he would use "ho yeh ts'un (brush strokes like veins of a lotus leaf) to paint his mountains instead of using a modeling effect. The cloudlike mountains in this painting seem to almost billow off of the page, returning to heaven. This type of treatment of a mountain would greatly affect future artists like Kuo Hsi.