Gong Xian (龚贤) (1618-1689; some sources give his birth year as early as 1617 or as late as 1620; born in Kunshan, Jiangsu) was a Chinese painter, the most important of the Eight Masters of Nanjing and the leading painter of the Nanjing school.
Primarily a landscape painter, mountains were the subject of most of Gong Xian's paintings. Willows are also a common theme in his work.
Gong Xian was a scholar loyal to the fallen Ming Dynasty, and he engaged in anti-Qing political activities in his youth. Following the fall of Nanjing to the Qing, he was forced to flee to save his life. He spent many years at Yangzhou in exile, during which he continued to author anti-Qing works, and develop his characteristic "light Gong" and "dark Gong" styles.
Gong Xian was one of the literati and known for his work with prose and poetry. The painting depicts a small hillock common in the Nanjing area, with white clouds lingering in the folds of the mountain, amid the continuous din of the waterfall. In an environment of moisture-laden air and lush vegetation, people stay in their houses. Once the artist settled on the outlines of his painting, he proceeded to use ink dots and short lines of various shapes in repeated patterns to texture the elements and motifs, all the while maintaining the clarity of every stroke he made. His painting recalls the pointillist style Georges Seurat of France, except that Gong Xian did not use colors.
source: The Art Book of Chinese Paintings, published by Long River Press