Themes of Chinese Painting
Figure painting(人物画，rén wù huà) is a common name for paintings describing human being mainly. Compared with other two themes, it has a longer history. The earliest figure painting could be traced to paintings on the pottery or tomb walls in Shang Dynasty and Zhou Dynasty, in some burial sites, we could even find paintings were preserved on silk banners, lacquered objects.From the Han (202 BC) to the Tang (618–906) dynasties, figure painting was a main stream in art circles at that time. When Buddhism was introduced into China in Han Dynasty, figure of Buddha became the most important drawing materials. We even could find gorgeous grottoes housing a mass of portraits of Buddha, such as Yungang(云岗) Gottoes,Longmen(龙门) Grottoes, Dunhuang(敦煌) Grottoes in the north of China and wall paintings of Buddha in the South. Somehow, seeing the great influence that painting art of Buddha to the development of Buddhism, Taoists started to draw paintings of immortals, and this idea was accepted in all the Taoist temples and folk. After Tang Dynasty, more and more painters specilized on figure paintings.But starting from Yuan Dynasty,figure painting declined.
Chinese figure painting strives to indicate vivid people’s character by the render of environments, atmospheres, bodies and actions, then make a person a unity of form and spirit. Besides imagines of Buddhism and Taoism, emperors and beauties are also the main subjects in figure painting.
Gu Kaizhi, Eastern Jin, Admonitions of the Instructress to the Court Ladies
Wu Daozi, Tang Dynasty, a part of the Scroll of the Eighty-seven Immortals
Mount Lu, Jinghao,the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period in Northern China
Travellers among Mount Guan, Guan Tong,,the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period in Northern China
Travellers among Mountains and Streams, Fan Kuan, Northern Song
Plum Blossoms in Early Spring, Wang Mian
Lotus and two birds,Zhu Da
Horse, Xu Beihong
Bamboo and Rocks, Zheng Xie
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