How to read Chinese paintings

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Metropolitan Museum of Art, Aug 1, 2008 - Art - 173 pages
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The Chinese often use the expression du hua, “to read a painting,” in connection with their study and appreciation of such works. This volume closely “reads” thirty-six masterpieces of Chinese painting from the encyclopedic collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art in order to reveal the major characteristics and themes of this rich pictorial tradition. The book examines multiple layers of meaning—style, technique, symbolism, past traditions, and the artist’s personal circumstances—through accessible texts and numerous large color details. A dynastic chronology, map, and list of further readings supplement the text.

 

Spanning a thousand years of Chinese art, these landscapes, flowers, birds, figures, religious subjects, and calligraphies illuminate the main goal of every Chinese artist: to capture not only the outer appearance of a subject but also its inner essence. 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - phoenixcomet - LibraryThing

Originally I simply wanted to look at the various Chinese paintings. I was so captivated by the beauty of the artwork that I started to read about what the painting actually represented and the political and social representations of the art. Really enjoyed the book. Read full review

Contents

Portraying Talent
10
Landscape of Emotion
28
Expressive Freedom in Banishment
48
Copyright

3 other sections not shown

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2008)

Maxwell K. Hearn is Douglas Dillon Curator, Department of Asian Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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