Three Important Things You Need to Know About Chinese Painting

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When you come across the term ‘Chinese Painting’ on any artwork, you also need to know what exactly it means. Chinese paintings are nothing but classical paintings that date back to the 20th century. These contemporary paintings have applied age-old themes, techniques, and materials to deliver stellar works of art. The major inspirations for these works of art are the Taoism and Confucianism philosophies. Along with this, two other factors are the history and the lifestyle of these artists.

While different forms of art from different countries depicted various elements, the Chinese paintings stood apart with their expression of natural elements. These included birds, flowers, landscapes, and other themes. Furthermore, these paintings were based in watercolors and not acrylic or oil paints. 

Interesting fact, isn’t it? Well, gear up, as we’ll be telling you some more amusing facts about Chinese paintings. Let’s get started:

Chinese Ink and Wash Paintings

Many top Chinese art collectors like John Dodelande and their collections show that ink and wash paintings revolve around Chinese history. This form of art was developed during the reign of the Tang dynasty. The tools used are very similar to those used in calligraphy and include pure ink as well.

Gradation of ink in three colors – black, blue, and white is the unique feature of these paintings. The brushstroke variations added depth to these paintings. These ink and wash paintings revolved typically around four subjects – orchid, bamboo, chrysanthemum, and plum blossom plants. These four plants represented four seasons and harmony with nature, which is the crux of the Taoism philosophy.

Tang Landscape Painting

This form of art developed during the Tang age, which is also why it is known as Tang landscape painting. This art is the perfect representation of Chinese art and got its due recognition around the 8th century. While traditional Chinese artists included mountains and water as the key elements of their landscape art, later a lot many natural elements such as floating waters, still waters, and high mountains were added in their art too.

This transition was mainly to accommodate the teachings of Taoist advisors, who emphasized the need for secret calm and spiritual identification. The blend of water and mountains signifies this calmness, so most Chinese landscape paintings have both elements in prominence.

Colors in Chinese Paintings

The color wasn’t really the highlight in Chinese artwork. The main emphasis was presenting sceneries in an appealing manner. Instead, these artists included faded wash in colorless paintings. Despite this, the modulation used by these artists is not like that of the western intellectual perspective. The artists also used strong hues in Buddhist hanging portraits, as well as woven silk in official lobes.

The Chinese mural paintings, on the other hand, were exceptionally embellished, with the usage of special colors. This type of art wasn’t noticed in any other part of the world during this period. One of the most famous bright murals is the Kuan-Yin, a Ming painting created in 1551.

Summing Up

So many interesting aspects of Chinese art come to light only because of the efforts of artwork collectors like John Dodelande. These aspects differentiate the paintings from those belonging to the western world. While we have listed out only a few, many factors make Chinese paintings unique. 

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