Dating chinese paintings

The character of Chinese painting , like that of Chinese calligraphy , is closely bound up with the nature of the medium. The basic material is ink, formed into a short stick of hardened pine soot and glue, which is rubbed to the required consistency on an inkstone with a little water. The painter uses a pointed-tipped brush made of the hair of goats, deer, or wolves set in a shaft of bamboo. He paints on a length of silk or a sheet of paper, the surface of which is absorbent, allowing no erasure or correction. He must therefore know beforehand what he intends to do, and the execution demands confidence, speed, and a mastery of technique acquired only by long practice.

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Formats Below are the four main forms of paintings viewed in this unit. The hanging scroll displays an entire painting at one viewing and typically ranges in height from two to six feet. It can be thought of as a lightweight, changeable wall painting. The earliest hanging scrolls may be related developmentally to tomb banners, which are known from the early Han dynasty.

Hanging scrolls came to be used with greater regularity from the tenth century onward. What types of circumstances or environments do you think would have been particularly congenial for viewing hanging scrolls? Do you think these would have differed from the context of a stationary wall painting? Like the hanging scroll, the handscroll is lightweight and portable. However, only one portion usually a shoulders' width is viewed at a time. Thus, the experience of looking at this type of painting is very different from that of the hanging scroll or wall painting.

Because of this feature, the artist can take advantage of the visual pacing of the painted elements to encourage the viewer to look more quickly in some some sections or to linger over details in others. To view this and other handscrolls in this unit, start at the far right of the painting and use the scroll bar to view subsequent sections of the painting: Albums were quite small and intimate in scale, and often juxtaposed poetry and painting on facing pages.

Ma Hezhi act. Flat oval fans , such as the one shown on the right, are known from Tang times or earlier. The period dating from the late Northern Song through the Southern Song saw the production of many paintings in this format, which was well suited to the abbreviated, lyrical images prevalent at the time. One other format, the standing screen painting , because it was used as a functional home furnishing element, deteriorated rapidly through frequent movement and exposure.

Paintings produced for screens were often salvaged and remounted as hanging scrolls. Many of the paintings that we know today in one format may well have originated in another and could have been used in another context entirely. Black ink comes from lampblack, a substance made by burning pine resins or tung oil; colored pigments are derived from vegetable and mineral materials.

Both are manufactured by mixing the pigment source with a glue base, which is then pressed into cake or stick form; using a special stone, the artist must grind the ink back into a watery solution immediately before painting. The brush used for painting is very similar to the one used for calligraphy, but there is greater variety in the shapes and resilience of brushes used in painting. The two different types of painting surfaces, silk and paper, both require sizing, or treatment with a glue-like substance on their uppermost surface, to prevent ink and pigment from soaking into and being completely absorbed by the ground.

Silk remains less porous than paper, and is somewhat water-resistant, especially after sizing. As a result, applying paint to a silk surface requires more painstaking techniques, building up ink and colors carefully and gradually in layers. Paper, in contrast, is more absorbent and is favored for spontaneous effects. Try to guess which of the album leaves below is on silk, and which on paper: Anonymous S.

In the west, not until the twentieth century do we see text and art image interact to the same degree on the surface of the art work. Early narrative paintings in the Chinese tradition often displayed text in banners next to the figures depicted; portions of the associated narrative text were also frequently found interspersed with sections of the painting.

Beginning around the 11th century, however, poems and painted images were designed to share the same image space. Although this practice was common at court, it was with the scholar painters that the practice of writing on the painting surface became firmly established. These writings, added after the painting was completed, could be mounted together with the painting but on another piece of paper or silk as was the case with handscrolls or even invaded the picture surface itself as in the case of the album leaf or the hanging scroll.

The content of these inscriptions typically included the appreciative comments of later viewers and collectors and constituted a major source of enjoyment for connoisseurs, who felt a connection to art aficionados and scholars of the past through their writings. Carved in a soft stone and impressed with a waxy, oil-based ink paste in vermilion red, the seals use an ancient script type that was in use mainly during the Zhou and Qin dynasties; this gives the characters an archaic quality that is often highly abstract.

Most seals are square; some are round or gourd shaped. The names inscribed on the seal stone are typically the literary or personal name of the owner. The seal is one tool art historians and connoisseurs have used to authenticate paintings, but like signatures and the paintings themselves, these seals can be copied or forged and therefore may prove to be less than reliable evidence.

The design or layout of words by the seal carver evolved into an art form in itself, the challenge being fitting the relatively predictable forms of characters into an interesting composition where there was very little leeway for bold experimentation. The characters can be carved in relief resulting in red figures on a white ground as you see here at left or engraved with characters appearing in white on a solid red background. The characters in the seal at left belong to a publisher, the Renmin meishu chubanshe of Beijing.

The simplest character, ren , is in the upper right hand corner. Can you guess where the other six characters are? Where does each character end and the next one start?

Date of Creation: Date is crucial if a Chinese painting is identified as antique piece, namely prior to The earlier, the more valuable. However, for works of . Chinese painting - Characteristics of painting: The character of Chinese of two of the Chinese directional animals (formerly thought to date from the later Han).

The identification process is divided into two steps by Joan Stanley-Baker: Division of the history into periods refers to selecting the works featured in the times, to verify and confirm the time of the production of a work. The style of the times is related to the structure and form three perspectives etc.

With their misty mountains in black inky tones, Chinese paintings are often considered to be the most remote and esoteric area of Chinese art.

Formats Below are the four main forms of paintings viewed in this unit. The hanging scroll displays an entire painting at one viewing and typically ranges in height from two to six feet. It can be thought of as a lightweight, changeable wall painting.


A hanging scroll is one of the many traditional ways to display and exhibit Chinese paintings and calligraphy inscriptions and designs. The hanging scroll was displayed in a room for appreciation; it is to be distinguished from the handscroll , which was narrower and designed to be viewed flat on a table in sections and then stored away again. Hanging scrolls are generally intended to be displayed for short periods of time and are then rolled up to be tied and secured for storage. The traditional craft involved in creating a hanging scroll is considered an art in itself. Scrolls originated in their earliest form from literature and other texts written on bamboo strips and silk banners across ancient China.

Hanging scroll

Chinese art is visual art that, whether ancient or modern, originated in or is practiced in China or by Chinese artists. The Chinese art in the Republic of China Taiwan and that of overseas Chinese can also be considered part of Chinese art where it is based in or draws on Chinese heritage and Chinese culture. Early " stone age art" dates back to 10, BC, mostly consisting of simple pottery and sculptures. After this early period Chinese art, like Chinese history, is typically classified by the succession of ruling dynasties of Chinese emperors , most of which lasted several hundred years. Chinese art has arguably the oldest continuous tradition in the world, and is marked by an unusual degree of continuity within, and consciousness of, that tradition, lacking an equivalent to the Western collapse and gradual recovery of classical styles. The media that have usually been classified in the West since the Renaissance as the decorative arts are extremely important in Chinese art, and much of the finest work was produced in large workshops or factories by essentially unknown artists, especially in Chinese ceramics. Much of the best work in ceramics, textiles, carved lacquer , and other techniques was produced over a long period by the various Imperial factories or workshops, which as well as being used by the court was distributed internally and abroad on a huge scale to demonstrate the wealth and power of the Emperors. In contrast, the tradition of ink wash painting , practiced mainly by scholar-officials and court painters especially of landscapes , flowers, and birds, developed aesthetic values depending on the individual imagination of and objective observation by the artist that are similar to those of the West, but long pre-dated their development there.

Autumn Wind by Ni Zan When people think of Chinese painting they think of graceful, harmonious, images of flowers, birds, water, mountains, trees and other natural objects.

There is room for confusion over the category known as Chinese traditional painting. The works in this field range from classical paintings that predate the 20th century through to contemporary paintings, all of which employ in some way age-old themes, materials and techniques. Artists use ink and water-based colour on paper or silk to create traditional tableaus, most often depicting landscapes.

History of Chinese art

Would you like to tell us about a lower price? If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support? Painting has always been regarded by the Chinese as a supreme art, equal to those of poetry and philosophy. But dating back over 2, years, many Chinese paintings were made to be viewed just for a few hours or weeks. As a result, the masterpieces of the form have been seen very rarely, and then only by a few. All the paintings are reproduced in full, together with enlarged details. Written by international scholars, the book explains the background against which Chinese painters worked, as well as the original social context of the paintings and their display in the palace, temple, studio, or tomb. Essays on technique, materials, and collecting describe why these paintings are considered masterpieces today. The extraordinary range covers 8th-century devotional banners from the Dunhuang caves in the Gobi Desert to self-portraits by artists living in 19th-century Shanghai in an age of Western influence. Together they present a remarkable chronicle of Chinese painting through an appreciation of individual artists.

Collecting Guide: 7 things to know about Chinese traditional painting

The Chinese way of appreciating a painting is often expressed by the words du hua , "to read a painting. Because art is a visual language, words alone cannot adequately convey its expressive dimension. How to Read Chinese Paintings seeks to visually analyze thirty-six paintings and calligraphies from the encyclopedic collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art in order to elucidate what makes each a masterpiece. Maxwell K. Hearn's elegantly erudite yet readable text discusses each work in depth, considering multiple layers of meaning.

Chinese art traditions are the oldest continuous art traditions in the world. Early so-called " stone age art" in China, consisting mostly of simple pottery and sculptures , dates back to 10, B. This early period was followed by a series of dynasties, most of which lasted several hundred years. Through dynastic changes, political collapses, Mongol and Manchurian invasions, wars, and famines, Chinese artistic traditions were preserved by scholars and nobles and adapted by each successive dynasty. The art of each dynasty can be distinguished by its unique characteristics and developments.

Chinese painting is one of the oldest continuous artistic traditions in the world. Traditional painting involves essentially the same techniques as calligraphy and is done with a brush dipped in black ink or coloured pigments ; oils are not used. As with calligraphy, the most popular materials on which paintings are made are paper and silk. The finished work can be mounted on scrolls, such as hanging scrolls or handscrolls. Traditional painting can also be done on album sheets, walls, lacquerware , folding screens , and other media. Landscape painting was regarded as the highest form of Chinese painting, and generally still is. In the north, artists such as Jing Hao , Li Cheng , Fan Kuan , and Guo Xi painted pictures of towering mountains, using strong black lines, ink wash, and sharp, dotted brushstrokes to suggest rough stone.

The quality of valuation is based on a carefully designed scope of work for appraisal, your knowledge of Chinese visual culture and your professional integrity as an art consultant and appraiser. If you wish to learn how to appraise Chinese painting and calligraphy, I would recommend that you consider the following suggestions. An accurate identification of a Chinese painting and calligraphy is the basis for a credible appraisal. A set of questions you need to ask yourself includes: Does it have the artist's signature and name seal?


[Eng&Chi] 中国艺术大观 水墨意境 纪录片 Chinese Art and Painting BBC Documentary
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