Traditional Chinext painting is the art of painting on a piece of Xuan paper or silk with a Chinese brush that was soaked with black ink or colored pigments. It is regarded as one of the “ three quintessence of Chinese culture” , the other two being traditional Chinese medicine and Beijing opera
By subject,traditional Chinese painting can be classified into three types,figure painting,landscape painting,and flowers and birds painting
Figure painting came into maturity as early as the Warring States Period(475-221) and reached its peak during the Tang Dynasty(618-907).Famous figure painting artists include Gu Kaizhi and Wu Daozi
Landscape painting,as the name indicates,delineates the ouside scenery. It first appeared in the Qin Dynasty(221 BC-206BC) and became an independent genre during the Sui( 581-618) and Tang Dynasty(618-907).By the time of the Song Dynasty(960-1279),it had reached a very high level. Representative artists of landscape painting include Li Sixun,Fan Kuan and Tang yin
Flowers and birds painting cancentrates on the drawing of flowers,birds,animals,fishes, and insects, etc. in their natural state. In came into being in the Northern and Southern dynasties(420-589) and became a mature art during the Song Dynasty. Celebrated artists include Zhu Da, who excelled in execution of flowers and birds, Zheng Xie,who was good at bamboo, and Qi Baishi,who excelled in fish and shrimp
By styles of brushwork,traditional Chinese painting can be categorized in to “ Gongbi”( realistic painting characterized by fine brushwork and close attention to details) and “Xieyi” (freehand brushwork aimed at catching the spirit of the object and expressing the author’s impression or mood). Unlike Western sketches which focus on truthful regeneration of subject,traditional Chiense painting pays more attention to verve and artistic conception, canonizing the idea that painting should contain more meaning than what it depicts. For instance,when Xu Beihong began to draw horses,he would firstly have shape features in his mind,and then draw a painting of horses that were more beautiful and real than horses in real life in the simple brushwork. To take “ xieyi” painter Qi Baishi as another example, in one of his paintings there were two chickens scrabbling for an earthworm. However,he named the painting “ say hello’ afterwards”, meaning that although the bubs were not so sensitive that both of them scrabble for the same food,they woulde have deep friendly feelings and say Hello to each other afterwards.The whole personification of little of chickens reflected Qi’s comprehension of the whole life.
In general,the style of traditional Chinese paintings is grandiose,containing ruggedness as well as detail and magnificence. In addtiona,its contents are rich with colorful forms.
In a finished works of traditional Chinese painting,inscriptions,poems,and stamps often come side by side. Therefore,traditional Chinese painting is an art form combining poetry, calligraphy,painting and seal carving. Its artistic achievement and national features have won recognition of the people all over the workd. Thus ,traditional Chinese painting brings decorous sentiment and artistic enjoyment for people
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