The Landscape Painting of China and Japan

By Hugo Munsterberg | Go to book overview

3
The T'ang Period

NOT until the T'ang period ( 618-907) did landscape painting evolve into a separate and major genre of Chinese painting. This age, in fact, was looked upon by later critics as a golden age, during which some of the greatest artistic figures were active. How much of this estimate was based upon actual knowledge of their works and how much is the characteristically Chinese veneration of all that is ancient anti traditional is hard to tell, but even the famous Sung scholar Su Tung-po complained in 1085 that only one or two original scrolls by Wu Tao-tzu could be found. Today the situation is even worse, and it is doubtful if there is more than one true T'ang landscape in existence. This state of affairs is very similar to that in Greek art, where we have numerous literary references to the famous sculptors of the Golden Age but few if any originals which can be attributed to them with certainty, since all the surviving works are either Roman copies or minor works by anonymous artists.

The first of the four great artistic figures who dominated this period was Li Ssu-hsün, known as General Li, who was probably born around 650 and died in 716. His fame was no doubt due just as much to his high social position and official rank as to his artistic accomplishments, for he was a descendant of the founder of the T'ang dynasty. Critics such as the celebrated Sung painter Mi Fei and the Ming scholar Tung Ch'i-ch'ang

-19-

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The Landscape Painting of China and Japan
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • About the Author *
  • Title Page iii
  • Acknowledgements vii
  • Note viii
  • Contents ix
  • List of Plates xi
  • The Landscape Painting of China 1
  • 1 - The Spirit of Chinese Landscape Painting 3
  • 2 - The Beginnings of Chinese Landscape Painting 13
  • 3 - The T'Ang Period 19
  • 4 - The Fire Dynasties and Early Sung Periods 31
  • 5 - The Northern Sung Period 43
  • 6 - The Southern Sung Period 51
  • 7 - The Yüan Period 59
  • 8 - The Ming Period 65
  • 9 - The Ch'Ing Period 73
  • The Landscape Painting of Japan 79
  • 10 - The Beginnings of Landscape Painting in Japan 81
  • 11 - The Heian and Kamakura Periods 87
  • 12 - The Muromachi Period 95
  • 13 - The Momoyama Period 105
  • 14 - The Edo Period 111
  • 15 - Landscape Painters of the Ukiyo-E School 121
  • Notes 129
  • Bibliography 135
  • Index 139
  • Plates 145
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