Top 5 Traditional Chinese Landscape Painting

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Chinese are among the oldest painters in the world. China has a long history of paintings, and the traditional Chinese landscape painting tells stories of exploits in education, civilization, trades, transportation, and evolution of human activities.

The paintings have now brought to the modern reckoning histories that could have been confined to the past.

Museums and galleries the world over still have traditional Chinese paintings. Some of these sell for huge amounts of money. Foremost among them is the traditional landscape paintings. Some critics claim that the landscape is the highest form of Chinese painting.

Though you may not be able to lay your hands on the originals, some of which date back to six centuries, this article produces mementos.

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Traditional Chinese Landscape Painting

traditional chinese landscape painting

Here are 5 of the most famous Chinese paintings of all time. There are obviously many other popular traditional landscape paintings from the Chinese, but the 5 below will give you a little idea of what the Chinese have been able to create in terms of arts.

1. The Spring Excursion

the spring excursion

This is one of the paintings by Zhan Ziqian, one of the traditional Chinese painters of fame. The painting dates back to about 550 to 604. Among the materials used in for decorations are mineral colors blue and green.

That’s why his genre of art is called blue-green landscape. Ziqian is one of the oldest painters from whom many painters of later years derived inspirations.

The famous court painter Li Sixun and his son Li Zhaodao who lived during the seventh and eighth centuries were among those inspired by the works of Ziqian. The Spring Excursion summarizes all there is to say about the paintings of Ziqian.

2. Nymph of the Luo River

nymph of the luo river

The artist behind this highly artistic painting is Gu Kaizhi. His works are a reflection of the experience of a highly decorative and meticulous fashion painter of around 348 to 409 who employed the precise line techniques.

His works laid the foundation for the paintings of Zhan Ziqian who is more recognized as a pioneer of the painting genre known as blue-green landscape. Meanwhile, he had a lot of paintings that Ziqian and many others learned from.

One of his most famous and highly recognized works is the Nymph of the Luo River. It tells the story of the ancient Chinese fascination with the river.

3. The Snowy Stream

the snowy stream

Snowy Stream is regarded as the prominent painting of Wang Wel, another 8th Century painter. Wel was the founder of the second Chinese school of landscape painting.

The school emerged during the Tang dynasty from 618 to 907. Wel panted in ink monochrome and introduced what is known as “broken ink” (pomo). It was a more spontaneous technique that employed varying shades of ink washes.

The first Chinese school of landscape painting was practiced by the earlier mentioned Li Sixun and Lu Zhaodao. The Snowy Stream painting had been redrawn again for centuries. It depicts how the ancient Chinese reacted during the seasons of snow.

4. Wintry Groves and Layered Banks

wintry groves and layered banks

This was a traditional painting historically dates back to the period from the Five Dynasties period from 907 to 960 and is traced to the Northern Song period from 960 to 1127. It was believed to have been painted by Dong Yuan. Yuan was among the earliest users of the softer rubbed brushwork.

He painted rivers and rolling hills that were the impressive sight of peaceful scenes native the country sight. His Wintry Groves and Layered Banks is an example of such impressive traditional Chinese landscape painting.

5. Travelers Among Mountains and Streams

travelers among mountains and streams

Fan Kuan deviated completely from what used to be before his time. He painted pictures that reminisce of how traveling merchants and other travelers used to ply the route between towering mountains.

He used strong black lines created by ink wash and dotted brushstrokes to give an impression of rough stones of the rock forming the mountains.

Indeed, this is just a tip of the iceberg of the richness of the traditional Chinese famous landscape painting.

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