Chinese painting
O’ Reiley, Chapter four
Chronological Table of Dynasties
• Tang (618-906)
• Five Dynasties (907-960)
• Song dynasty (960-1279): Northern Song (960-1126) and
Southern Song (1129-1279); capital
• Yuan dynasty (Mongols) 1260-1368 (Kubilai Khan; moved
the capital to Khanbalik (Beijing), adopted Tibetan
• Ming dynasty 1368-1644 (capital at Nanjing until 1420
then moved to Beijing)
• Qing (Manchus) 1644-1912
• Republic 1912-1949
• Hand scroll (shou-chuan)
• Hanging scroll (li chou)
• Album leaves and fans: subjects are
landscape or bird-and-flowers with
Handscroll, hanging scroll, Double-leaf album painting, screen fan, folding fan
Wen Zhengming (1470-1559), Cypress and Rock, dated 1550
Anon., The Han Palace, S, Song, 12-13th century
Wen Shu, Carnation and Garden Rock, Ming Dy, 1627
Tang Period
• Figure painting
• Hand scroll and hanging scrolls was the
major formats
• Emperor Huizong: emperor is portrayed
larger than other figures, vivid colors,
attention of details but no individual
personality; the aim is to focus on the role
of the individual
• The Six Laws of Painting by Xie He (c. 500-35):
Spirit, Bone Method (law of using the brush),
Correspondence to the object (the depicting of
form), Suitability to type (laying color), Division
and Planning (placing and arrangement),
transmission by coping (of models)
• Media: Silk and paper
• Ink: monochrome used for both landscape and
• Brush: horse, wolf, sheep, sable, and rabit
4.19 Yen Lipen (attributed), Emperor Wu Di, the Scroll of the Emperors, Tang Dynasty,
7th c. (11th century copy)
Attributed to Emperor Huizong (r. 1101-25), Court ladies Preparing Silk, Tang Dy.
Landscape painting
• Developed rapidly in the Tang dy. and reached its apex by
early Song dy. (first appears in tomb tile, inlaid bronze, and
mural at Dun Huang
• N-Song: a true landscape used precise line manner, depicts
a sense of an estate, a group of building, a few peasants
working, a fishing boat in a shore, no narrative, landscape
represents in fragments, no perspective
• Depth is created by placement of elements in different
grounds: foreground, mid ground and back group
• Literati artists were well educated elites who painted for
• Bamboo painting is special favor in the
Yuan dy.
• It symbolizes the true gentle man who
always maintain his integrity
• It is the most difficult: need precise
placement of leaves and stalks and
Fan Kuan (c. 960-1030), Travelers among Mountains and Streams, N. Song
4-20 Fan Kuan (c. 960-1030), Travelers among Mountains and Streams, N. Song
Ma Yuan (c. 1190-1225), On a Mountain Path in Spring, with a poem by Yang Meizi
S. Song dy.
4-21 Ma Yuan, Scholar Contemplating the Moon, S. Song, c. 1200
4-22 Liang Kai, Hui Neng, Chopping the bamboo at a Moment of Enlightenment, S. Song, C. 1200
4.23 Bottle vase,Guan ware, S. Song
4-24 Guan Daosheng, Ten Thousands Bamboo Poles in Cloudy Mist, 1308, Yuan Dy.
4-24 Guan Daosheng, Ten Thousands Bamboo Poles in Cloudy Mist, 1308, Yuan Dy.
4-24 Guan Daosheng, Ten Thousands Bamboo Poles in Cloudy Mist, 1308, Yuan Dy.
Calligraphy and Seals
• By the 13th c, calligraphy and seals are frequently
appear on painting
• Seal script: the earliest form, used for formal
contexts of inscription
• Clerical script: used for bureaucratic recordkeeping
• Regular script: most widely used to the present
• Cursive script: used for artistic expression
• Drafting script: the most rapidly written script
Attributed to Han Gan, Night White, Tang Dy.
4-25 Chao Mengfu, Sheep and Goat, Yuan dy. c. 1300
Ni Zan (1306-74), Rongxi Studio, Yuan-Ming, dated 1372
Portrait of the Ming Hongzhi Emperor, Ming 15th c.
Ming dynasty
Forces the Mongols out
Enlarging the Great Wall of China
Sent expeditions in the Indian Ocean
Built the imperial palace in Beijing
First Ming emperor established ceramic productions at Jingdezhen;
High grade porcelain were produced for his court.
• Later the emperors had monopoly over the utilitarian production of
ceramics that were exported to SEA, the Middle East and later to the
• Blue ( water and cobalt oxide) and white (glaze) porcelains are
4.26 porcelain vases painted in an underglaze of cobalt blue, Ming dy., 15th century
Vase, Ming dynasty, 15th c
Porcelain bowl, Ming dy. 15th century
4-27 Chest, Ming dy., 15th century, lacquer
4-28 Wen Zhengming (1470-1559), Cypress and Rock, dated 1550
4-28 Wen Zhengming (1470-1559), Cypress and Rock, dated 1550, Ming Dy.
4-29 Don Qichang, Landscape in the Manner of Old Masters, 1611, Ming Dy.,
Zhu Da, Fish and Rocks, (1626-1705), Ming-Qing dy.
Qing dynasty
• China was occupied by foreigners from the
north-the Manchus or Manchurians, who
caputured Beijing in 1644
• Qing means “pure’ or “clear”
• Qianlong emperor (1736-1795) supported
the revival of traditional art from the past.
• Shitao (1641-1717)
4-33 Shitao, View of Waterfall on Mt. Lu, Qing dy. (1641-1717)
Anon., Beauty Before a Curio Case, Qing, 18th century (one of set of 12 hanging scrolls
Zheng Xie (1693-1765), Ink, bamboo and Rocks, Qing, 1753
4-32 Yu the Great Taming the Waters, completed 1787, jade (224 x 96 cm.)
4-36 Color print from woodblock, 1734

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