Fine Arts | Early Chinese Painting
A466 | 2194 | Nelson
This section for UG only
Meets with FINA A566
Chinese painting in its social and cultural context, from its origins
through the 13th century.
This course surveys the history of early Chinese painting in three
main phases, beginning with early works (c. 200 BCE-600 CE) shaped by
ethical and religious concerns: Confucian ideas about the state and
society, and Daoist concepts of nature and the individual. Later, in the
vigorous imperial culture of the Tang dynasty (c. 600-900), pictures
celebrated the power and prosperity of the court--tribute horses, palace
beauties, and aristocratic sports. Landscape painting came to the fore in
the Song dynasty (c. 900-1300); monumental mountainscapes, hazy river
scenes, and delicate sketches of birds, flowers, and bamboo reflect the
many meanings associated with nature in Chinese thought.
Throughout the course, we will pay close attention to the intimate
connections between the history of pictorial art, political culture, and
currents in philosophy, religion, and literature. Among other things, we
will study the social networks and systems of patronage within which
pictures were made; the political messages encoded in seemingly innocent
imagery; and the dynamic relationships between the Chinese arts of
painting, poetry, and calligraphy.