Tall Chinese Landscape Painting
A sense of serenity is found in looking at this beautiful Chinese landscape painting. In the foreground, a gentle river flows through the composition, framed by little hills and tall trees. Three buildings, from which smoke softly emanates, are nestled in front of a forest. In the background, mountains rise from mist, evoked through pale, blurred washes of ink. Nature has, for centuries, been an important and popular subject in Chinese art. There are few details in this work: elements of the landscape are represented through clean lines and simple forms. This is reminiscent of traditional Chinese landscape paintings, in which it was more important for the artist to capture an overall ‘essence’ rather than specific details. These works, therefore, often did not represent a specific location but looked like real environments. As early as the 11th century, many Chinese artists minimized the use of colour in their work, choosing instead to use dark ink, as is seen here. This was done in an effort to connect an artist’s work to calligraphy, a highly valued art form, in which dark ink was also used. The painting is done on a silk canvas and is housed in a modern frame. This landscape is sure to be a peaceful and culturally rich addition to any room.
At this time in China, the Qing Dynasty (1644–1912) was the last orthodox dynasty in Chinese history. Eleven different emperors ruled over China during this era. A sovereign for 61 years and more than 300 days, Kangxi Emperor (r. 1661–1722), was the longest-reigning emperor of the Qing Dynasty and in Chinese history. The third emperor of the Qing Dynasty, Kangxi Emperor’s reign brought stability and wealth to the Chinese.