Chinese Painting

Chinese Painting

Requirement for Chinese painter

Much skill is required of the Chinese painter, who must wield the soft brush with strength and dexterity to create a wide variety of lines-thick, thin, dense, light, long, short, dry, wet, etc. Depending on his skills, he might specialize fn detailed and delicate line drawing (Gongbi) or abstract, impressionistic (Xieyi) paintings. Line drawing is the basic training of a painter, who must learn it well before moving on to the delicate details of realistic scenes or the more abstract spirit of impressionism. Another special skill worthy of mention is painting with Angers instead of a brush, which creates a very different effect.
No matter what the subject or the style, traditional Chinese painting should be infused with imagination and soul. A traditional story that captures the Chinese view of painting tells about the establishment of a royal college of painting during the reign of Emperor Huizong. Examinations were held to recruit the best painters. Examinees were asked to draw a picture that reflected the joy of people who had just returned from a spring outing, an outing that had been so pleasant that even the horseshoes seemed fragrant. Many endeavored to depict this bright scene but only one work was chosen ; the painter simply drew a horse's hoof followed by butterflies which were in graceful flight. This painter had managed to capture the essential spirit and beauty of the scene.

The influence of Chinese painting

The independent Chinese traditional art of painting had drawn increasing interest from the foreign art critics, who were beginning to study the Chinese classic art-viewing it for the first time as a unique school of the Oriental fine arts. This was an important development, because until then, there were only three schools of Oriental fine arts, namely, Egyptian-Arab fine arts, fine arts of the Indian sub-continent and finally, Japanese fine arts, which had been popular in the West since the middle of the nineteenth century. The rediscovery of the Chinese fine arts led the Western art and cultural circles to recognize the existence of a new world in Oriental art. As a result, study of Chinese fine arts became a favorable subject for the Western art and academic circles.