Huang Gongwang was a child prodigy who passed the civil service examinations but served in office for only for a short period (losing his post after being accused of tax irregularities) and supported himself for a time as a diviner. Later he retired to West Lake in Hangzhou.

Huang inscribed Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains at its end.  He stated that he sketched the entire composition in one sitting, then from time to time would add a little when he was in the mood.  All told, it took him three years to finish the painting.