THE T'ANG AND SUNG DYNASTIES
|At this point, read George Rowley's Principles of Chinese Painting, which will provide information on the relationship between Taoist thought and landscape painting. Rowley notes that landscape painting was practiced in both Northern and Southern Sung. Northern Sung is the period 960-1125 A.D., the time before the Jurchen Turks raided the capital at Kaifeng and captured the whole court, including the emperor. Southern Sung began in 1127 when a young prince and the remaining officials fled south, where they wandered for ten years before establishing a court at Hangchou along the Yangtze River. At this time many of the Mandarins, who had painted in the north, fled to the south, where they instructed a new group of scholars who continued the landscape tradition. But the Southern Sung literari painted in a new style that reflected the more pleasant, less rugged terrain of the south. While the symbolism in the paintings of both Northern and Southern Sung is the same, the style differed. In the north the painters employed a detailed realism, piling up elements to suggest the vastness of the universe, while in the south, the scholars simplified, flowing on an abundance of watercolor mist to embody the notion of the void and to suggest infinity that lies beyond perception.|
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|Choose one of the Northern Sung landscapes in Rowley (plates 16 through 19), and discuss the symbolism of the landscape and the effect of the detailed realism. Then take one of the Southern Sung landscape paintings (plates 20 through 23) and compare it with the chosen example of Northern Sung. This will be the second part of your long integrative essay. You may use paintings from other sources which have better reproductions but if you do so, identify the painting and source, and include a Xerox copy. (Some additional sources for the principles and practice of Chinese landscape painting are James Cahill, Chinese Painting; Skira, N.D. and Michael Sullivan, Symbols of Eternity, Stanford, 1979).|
Additional sources for a Study of Chinese Landscape Painting: