Chinese Landscape Painting Analysis

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Over, the course of this class we have watched how Chinese art has changed throughout history. We first witnessed the bronze ritual vessels of the Shang and Zhou Dynasty. Then we examined the different Hu’s of the Han Dynasty. We also watched the progression of Buddhist sculptures in the 3rd and 4th century. With the course ending we see the collapse of the Tang Dynasty in the 10th century, and the emergence of Chinese Landscape painting. The past couple weeks, we were introduced to a variety of painters and their paintings from the Song, Ming, and Qing dynasties. Today we will focus on a painting produced by Gong Xian, Landscape, 1689, Qing Dynasty. I will first analyze the components that make up this painting. Then I will take an aspect of the painting and relate it to a comparable element out here in Santa Barbara. From this we can deduce if the artist morphed his own painting to a more unrealistic view of nature.
From first glance, we obviously can tell this painting depicts a Chinese landscape. We see a mountain, trees, and some rocks. I have noticed these types of landscapes are very common in Chinese paintings. Professor Sturman used the term pingdan¬¬, to describe similar images. In other words, the painting depicts
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I noticed how stretched out these mountains were. The mountains seemed to extend across the horizon. The mountains and the hills rested in such a gentle manner. In other words, the landscape seemed to not be very violent. There were no jagged cliffs or rocks hanging off the mountain. I just felt calm when looking at these mountains; the world felt peaceful. The mountain is placid (as it should be), which conjures a sense tranquility. There were also two different colors that are ingrained in the mountain terrain. Rocks were a yellowish or tan color, while the rest of the mountain was more of a darker color. These colors signified different

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