ISBN 7119019732Hardcover: Pages:2158.5" x 11.5" Foreign Languages Press 2002
This is a collection of more than 200 paintings of flowers and birds, landscapes and figures by more than 100 artists. Most of these are painters whose presistant endeavors, despite the loneliness of working in the new commodity economy, have made them central figures in the field. Among them high prestige, as well as a new generation of talente young and middle-aged painers, including professional artists and teachers. Varying greatly in age, region, profession and style, they have played an important role in the rejuvenation and development of fine brush painting. Readers can lean much and derive great enjoyment from these works along with pertinent and precise commentaries.
Chinese painting has a long history and fine national tradition. Although depicted with simple lines, the ,,,silk fish" and the mythological portraits on the bronze ware and lacquered coffins of the Warring States Period over 2,000 years ago were characterized by bright colors and vivid images. The murals discovered in the Han tombs in Wangdu, Hebei Province, in 1952 depicted images of the subordinate officials of the owners of the tombs, and auspicious pictures of glossy ganoderma and grass. These displayed great progress in the expression of images. The landscapes on the Sichuan stone reliefs in the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD) were the earliest ancient landscape paintings. The "Six-Method Theory" propounded by the famous painter Xie He of the Southern Qi Dynasty (479-502 AD) summarized the previous painting and creative experiences and laid down basic rules. During the Tang Dynasty (618-907), great artistic developments were made, helped by the flourishing economy and the patronage of kings, princes and aristocrats. At the same time, the national culture was influenced by the import of Buddhism from abroad. The Tang murals in the Dunhuang Grottoes are representative of the brilliant cultural and artistic achievements of the period.
Later, Chinese painting gradually divided into figure paintings, landscape paintings and flower-and-bird paintings. In the 10th century, great changes took place in artistic styles, and the Southern and Northern schools began to form. Painters of later generations vied with each other in setting up their own styles. For example, Northern landscape paintings stressed a forceful and rough style, while those of the Southern school emphasized a quietly elegant and tasteful style . Xu Xi, a painter of the "boneless method," and Huang Quan, a flower-and-bird painter, stood out. The latter enlivened his paintings by applying colors within outlines of bright halos.
Zhao Chang, of the Song Dynasty (960-1279), focused on the direct observation of nature, and conferred on himself the title "Zhao Chang, Painter of Life." Before the Yuan Dynasty ( 127 1-1368), most painters drew on spun silk with a wet brush, using what was called "ink and wash". Later, they painted mainly on xuan paper with a dry brush. Many paintings at that time were inscribed with poetic writing at the beginning or end and affixed with seals, organically integrating poetry and art; the painting, calligraphy and seal combining to broaden the painting's aesthetic field and make the images more attractive.
The Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) saw the appearance of painters such as Shi Tao and Zhu Da (known as "Eight-Mountain Hermit") and groups like the Yangzhou School. Breaking through old styles, expressing themselves fully, boldly and without constraint, they made great contributions to the transformation of ancient painting into modern and contemporary art.
The founding of the People's Republic of China opened a new chapter in the history of Chinese art, raising Chinese painting to unprecedented heights. Particularly gratifying achievements have been made in the production of fine brush painting. A total of over 200 paintings of figures, landscape paintings. and paintings of flowers and birds by both famous and relatively unknown painters of the fine brush genre have been collected in this album, showing the latest achievements of Chinese fine brush painting. We offer this collection as a gift to art lovers in China and abroad.
Hu Jieqing at the age of 93 in Beijing
Although a collection of famous paintings have been compiled in the Fine Brush Painting Art, the book is not intended to be simply a collection of fine works of art. The compilers have striven to provide the general public and lovers of fine brush painting with a dynamic understanding of its present creative situation and development trend from various angles and levels through works on various themes, using different forms and styles in different areas of the country and produced by different groups. It is also hoped that the book will help to further promote the art of contemporary Chinese fine brush painting around the world.
In terms of the creators, we have focused not only on older artists, whose hard work and character have earned them high prestige, but also on some of the great achievements of a new generation of young and middle-aged painters, including professional artists and teachers. Some of these are relatively unknown, but have made great efforts over many years to popularize the art form. Although some of their works are still immature. their artistic practice and creative achievements reveal the trend of creation and development in the art of fine brush painting, and suggest an even more brilliant future for the art form.
Regretfully, due to limitations of information and space, the health conditions of some invited artists, changes in the interests of others and various unforeseen circumstances, we have been unable to include some works that we should have. However, we firmly believe that, whether their works have been collected in this album or not, the selfless enthusiasm and active enterprising spirit of modern artists are reflected in this limited selection.
We would like to avail ourselves of this opportunity to express our deep gratitude to the artists and artistic critics who have constantly supported our work, and all the pioneers who have been working hard in the artistic field of fine brush painting.