This article explores a new way of looking at mountain representation in Chinese paining by adopting W.J.T. Mitchell`s theorization on landscape as ideology. This idea of Mitchell suggests that landscape can be discussed not only in terms of what it "is" or "means," but also how it "performs" as an ideology that naturalizes social and cultural construction with its particularly raw quality. The main material for the investigation is the representation of mountains in the Precious Rain Bianxiang in Mogao Cave 321. This mural has been noted for its expansive landscape features and also for its association with the dynamic historical events around the political empowerment of Wu Zetian (r. 684-705), the only female emperor in China`s history. Based on these two aspects, the present discussion makes a hypothesis that the mountains in the painting were not its minor part but were essential elements in making the painting effective for the propagation of Wu Zetian`s political legitimacy. In an attempt to prove this hypothesis, the study first deals with the style and composition of the mountain representation in the Precious Rain bianxiang. In the second section, as a representative example of the Tang imperial symbol, Taizong` s grand mountain tomb of Zhaoling is examined in relation to the ideology of “inclusivity" of the early Tang emperors. The third section defines the political meaning and naturalizing function of the mountains in the Precious Rain bianxiang based on the observations in the previous sections and the historical. In conclusion, this article determines three functions of the mountain representation in the Precious Rain bianxiang. Firstly. it encompasses various beings in the painting. Secondly, it indicates the hierarchical positions of the participants in the painting. Thirdly, it naturalizes such hierarchical system and presents each position as given and for granted. Additionally, this discussion makes a positive assessment of Wu Zetian in art historical perspective. Wu Zetian`s attempt to make the most natural mountains in the two dimensional surface that could compete with the actual mountains used as imperial symbols of the male emperors contributed in bringing more of reality into (he realm of representation.