Many critics consider landscape to be the highest form of Chinese painting. By the late Tang Dynasty (618-907), landscape painting had evolved into an independent genre that embodied the universal longing of cultivated men to escape their quotidian world to commune with nature. As the Tang Dynasty disintegrated, the concept of withdrawal into the natural world became a major thematic focus of poets and painters. Faced with the failure of the human order, learned men sought permanence within the natural world, retreating into the mountains to find a sanctuary from the chaos of dynastic collapse.
In Chinese culture, water symbolizes wealth, and the waterfall represents profits pouring in from all sides. Therefore, Chinese waterfall painting is a well-received theme for Chinese painting.