This article contains wording that promotes the subject in a subjective manner without imparting real information. (July 2014) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
|Chinese||米芾 or 米黻|
Mi Fu (Chinese :米芾 or 米黻; pinyin :Mǐ Fú, also given as Mi Fei, 1051–1107) was a Chinese painter, poet, and calligrapher born in Taiyuan during the Song dynasty. He became known for his style of painting misty landscapes. This style would be deemed the "Mi Fu" style and involved the use of large wet dots of ink applied with a flat brush. His poetry was influenced by Li Bai and his calligraphy by Wang Xizhi.
Mi Fu is regarded as one of the four greatest calligraphers of the Song dynasty. His style is derived from calligraphers in earlier dynasties, although he developed unique traits of his own.
As a personality, Mi Fu was noted as an eccentric. At times, they even deemed him "Madman Mi" because he was obsessed with collecting stones. He was also known as a heavy drinker. His son, Mi Youren, also became a well known painter following in his father's artistic style.
Mi Fu was a fifth-generation descendant of Mi Xin, a Later Zhou and early Song dynasty general from the Kumo Xi tribe that descended from the Xianbei.He showed early signs of interest in arts and letters, as well as unusual memory skills.
His mother worked as a midwife and later as a wet-nurse, looking after the Emperor Shenzong (who was to start his reign in 1051 and continue until 1107).
Mi Fu knew the imperial family and he lived in the privileged location of the royal palaces, where he also started his career as Reviser of Books, Professor of Painting and Calligraphy in the capital, Secretary to the Board of Rites and Military Governor of Huaiyang. Mi Fu openly criticized conventional regulations of the time, causing him to move between jobs frequently.
Mi Fu collected old writings and paintings as his family wealth gradually diminished. Gradually his collection became of high value. He also inherited some of the calligraphies from his collection. He wrote:
When a man of today obtains such an old sample it seems to him as important as his life, which is ridiculous. It is in accordance with human nature, that things which satisfy the eye, when seen for a long time become boring; therefore they should be exchanged for fresh examples, which then appear double satisfying. That is the intelligent way of using pictures.[ citation needed ]
He arranged his collection in two parts, one of which was kept secret (or shown only to a few selected friends) and another which could be shown to visitors.
In his later years, Mi Fu became very fond of Holin Temple (located on Yellow Crane Mountain (黃鶴樓)). He later asked to be buried at its gate. Today the temple is gone, but his grave remains.
After the rise of landscape painting, creative activities followed which were of a more general kind and included profane, religious figure, bird, flower and bamboo painting besides landscapes. It was all carried out by men of high intellectual standards. To most of these men, painting was not a professional occupation but only one of the means by which they expressed their intellectual reactions to life and nature in visible symbols. Poetry and illustrative writing were in a sense even more important to them than painting and they made their living as more or less prominent government officials if they did not depend on family wealth. Even if some of them were real masters of ink-painting as well as of calligraphy, they avoided the fame and position of professional artists and became known as “gentleman-painters”. Artistic occupations such as calligraphy and painting were to these men activities to be done during the leisure time from official duties or practical occupations. Nevertheless, the foundation of their technical mastery was in writing, training in calligraphy which allowed them to transmit their thoughts with the same easiness in symbols of nature as in conventional characters. Their art became therefore a very intimate kind of expression, or idea-writing as it was called in later times. The beauty of this art was indeed closely connected to the visible ease with which it was produced, but which after all could not be achieved without intense training and deep thought.
Mi Fu was one of the highly gifted gentleman-painters. He was not a poet or philosopher, nevertheless, he was brilliant intellectually. With his very keen talent of artistic observation together with sense of humor and literary ability, he established for himself a prominent place among Chinese art-historians; his contributions in this field are still highly valued because they are based on what he had seen with his own eyes and not simply on what he had heard or learned from his forerunners. Mi Fu had the courage to express his own views, even when these were different from the prevailing ones or official opinions. His notes about painting and calligraphy are of great interest to art historians because they are spontaneous expressions of his own observations and independent ideas that help to characterize himself as well as the artists whose works he discusses.
He is considered one of the most important representatives of the ‘Southern School’ (南宗畫) of landscape painting. However, it is no longer possible clearly to say this from the pictures which passed under his name – there is no lack of such works, and most of them represent a rather definite type or pictorial style which existed also in later centuries, but to what extent they can be considered as Mi Fu's own creations is still a question. In other words, the general characteristics of his style are known, but it is not possible to be sure that the paintings ascribed to him represent the rhythm and spirit of his individual brush work as is possible with his authentic samples of calligraphy, which still exist. Therefore, he is more remembered as a skilled calligraphist and for his influence as a critic and writer on art rather than a skilled landscape painter.
Mi Fu was among those for whom writing or calligraphy was intimately connected with the composing of poetry or sketching. It required an alertness of mind and spirit, which he thought was best achieved through the enjoyment of wine. Through this he reached a state of excitement rather than drunkenness. A friend of Mi Fu, Su Shih (蘇軾) admired him and wrote that his brush was like a sharp sword handled skillfully in fight or a bow which could shoot the arrow a thousand li , piercing anything that might be in its way. “It was the highest perfection of the art of calligraphy”, he wrote.
Other critics claimed that only Mi Fu could imitate the style of the great calligraphists of the Six Dynasties. Mi Fu indeed seems to have been an excellent imitator; some of these imitations were so good that they were taken for the originals. Mi Fu's son also testified that his father always kept some calligraphic masterpiece of the Tang or the Qin period in his desk as a model. At night he would place it in a box at the side of his pillow.
According to some writings, Mi Fu did most of his paintings during the last seven years of his life, and he himself wrote that “he chose as his models the most ancient masters and painted guided by his own genius and not by any teacher and thus represented the loyal men of antiquity.”
The pictures which still pass under the name of Mi Fu represent ranges of wooded hills or cone-shaped mountain peaks rising out of layers of woolly mist. At their feet may be water and closer towards the foreground clusters of dark trees. One of the best known examples of this kind of Mi Fu style is the small picture in the Palace Museum known as Spring Mountains and Pine-Trees. It is in the size of a large album-leaf, but at the top of the picture is added a poem said to be by the emperor Emperor Gaozong of Song. The mountains and the trees rise above a layer of thick mist that fills the valley; they are painted in dark ink tones with a slight addition of color in a plummy manner that hides their structure; it is the mist that is really alive. In spite of the striking contrast between the dark and the light tones the general effect of the picture is dull, which may be the result of wear and retouching.
Among the pictures which are attributed to Mi Fu, there apparently are imitations, even if they are painted in a similar manner with a broad and soft brush. They may be from Southern Song period, or possibly from the Yuan period, when some of the leading painters freely utilized the manner of Mi Fu for expressing their own ideas. The majority are probably from the later part of Ming period, when a cult of Mi Fu followers that viewed him as the most important representative of the "Southern School" started. Mi Fu himself had seen many imitations, perhaps even of his own works and he saw how wealthy amateurs spent their money on great names rather than on original works of art. He wrote: “They place their pictures in brocade bags and provide them with jade rollers as if they were very wonderful treasures, but when they open them one cannot but break out into laughter.”
Mi Fu's own manner of painting has been characterized by writers who knew it through their own observation or through hearsay. It is said that he always painted on paper which had not been prepared with gum or alum (alauns); never on silk or on the wall. In addition, he did not necessarily use the brush in painting with ink; sometimes he used paper sticks or sugar cane from which the juice had been extracted, or a calyx (kauss) of the lotus.
Even if Mi Fu was principally a landscape painter, he also did portraits and figure paintings of an old fashioned type. Nevertheless, he must have spent more time studying samples of ancient calligraphy and painting than producing pictures of his own. His book on "History of Painting" contains practical hints as to the proper way of collecting, preserving, cleaning and mounting pictures. Mi Fu was no doubt an excellent connoisseur who recognized quality in art, but in spite of his oppositional spirit, his fundamental attitude was fairly conventional. He appreciated some of the well recognized classics among the ancient masters and had little use for any of the contemporary painters. He had sometimes difficulty in admitting the values of others and found more pleasure in making sharp and sarcastic remarks than in expressing his thoughts in a just and balanced way.
Landscape painting was, to Mi Fu, superior to every other kind of painting; revealing his limitations and romantic flight: “The study of Buddhist paintings implies some moral advice; they are of a superior kind. Then follow the landscapes, then pictures of bamboo, trees, walls and stones, and then come pictures of flowers and grass. As to pictures of men and women, birds and animals, they are for the amusement of the gentry and do not belong to the class of pure art treasures.”
Chinese art is visual art that, whether ancient or modern, originated in or is practiced in China or by Chinese artists. The Chinese art in the Republic of China (Taiwan) and that of overseas Chinese can also be considered part of Chinese art where it is based in or draws on Chinese heritage and Chinese culture. Early "Stone Age art" dates back to 10,000 BC, mostly consisting of simple pottery and sculptures. After this early period Chinese art, like Chinese history, is typically classified by the succession of ruling dynasties of Chinese emperors, most of which lasted several hundred years.
Ink wash painting is a type of East Asian brush painting that uses the same black ink used in East Asian calligraphy in different concentrations. Emerging in Tang dynasty China (618–907), it overturned earlier, more realistic techniques. It is typically monochrome, using only shades of black, with a great emphasis on virtuoso brushwork and conveying the perceived "spirit" or "essence" of a subject over the direct imitation. It flourished from the Song dynasty in China (960–1279) onwards, as well as in Japan after it was introduced by Zen Buddhist monks in the 14th century. Somewhat later, it became important in Korean painting.
Chinese painting is one of the oldest continuous artistic traditions in the world. Painting in the traditional style is known today in Chinese as guó huà, meaning "national painting" or "native painting", as opposed to Western styles of art which became popular in China in the 20th century. It is also called danqing. Traditional painting involves essentially the same techniques as calligraphy and is done with a brush dipped in black ink or coloured pigments; oils are not used. As with calligraphy, the most popular materials on which paintings are made are paper and silk. The finished work can be mounted on scrolls, such as hanging scrolls or handscrolls. Traditional painting can also be done on album sheets, walls, lacquerware, folding screens, and other media.
Zhao Mengfu, was a descendant of the Song Dynasty's imperial family through Emperor Xiaozong's brother Zhao Bogui who married a lady surnamed Song who was the granddaughter of Emperor Huizong. Zhao Bogui was a descendant of Emperor Taizu, through his son Zhao Defang.
Chinese calligraphy is the writing of Chinese characters as an art form, combining purely visual art and interpretation of the literary meaning. This type of expression has been widely practiced in China and has been generally held in high esteem across East Asia. Calligraphy is considered as one of the four most-sought skills and hobbies of ancient Chinese literati, along with playing stringed musical instruments, the board game "Go", and painting. There are some general standardizations of the various styles of calligraphy in this tradition. Chinese calligraphy and ink and wash painting are closely related: they are accomplished using similar tools and techniques, and have a long history of shared artistry. Distinguishing features of Chinese painting and calligraphy include an emphasis on motion charged with dynamic life. According to Stanley-Baker, "Calligraphy is sheer life experienced through energy in motion that is registered as traces on silk or paper, with time and rhythm in shifting space its main ingredients." Calligraphy has also led to the development of many forms of art in China, including seal carving, ornate paperweights, and inkstones.
Japanese calligraphy also called shūji (習字) is a form of calligraphy, or artistic writing, of the Japanese language. For a long time, the most esteemed calligrapher in Japan had been Wang Xizhi, a Chinese calligrapher from the 4th century, but after the invention of Hiragana and Katakana, the Japanese unique syllabaries, the distinctive Japanese writing system developed and calligraphers produced styles intrinsic to Japan. The term shodō is of Chinese origin as it is widely used to describe the art of Chinese calligraphy during the medieval Tang dynasty.
Guo Xi was a Chinese landscape painter from Henan Province who lived during the Northern Song dynasty. One text entitled "The Lofty Message of Forest and Streams" is attributed to him. The work covers a variety of themes centered on the appropriate way of painting a landscape. He was a court professional, a literatus, well-educated painter who developed an incredibly detailed system of idiomatic brushstrokes which became important for later painters. One of his most famous works is Early Spring, dated 1072. The work demonstrates his innovative techniques for producing multiple perspectives which he called "the angle of totality." This type of visual representation is also called "Floating Perspective", a technique which displaces the static eye of the viewer and highlights the differences between Chinese and Western modes of spatial representation.
Yan Zhenqing was a Chinese calligrapher, military general, and politician. He was a leading Chinese calligrapher and a loyal governor of the Tang Dynasty. His artistic accomplishment in Chinese calligraphy is equal to that of the greatest master calligraphers of history, and his regular script style, Yan, is often imitated.
Korean calligraphy, also known as Seoye, is the Korean tradition of artistic writing. Calligraphy in Korean culture involves both Hanja and Hangul.
Japanese painting is one of the oldest and most highly refined of the Japanese visual arts, encompassing a wide variety of genres and styles. As with the history of Japanese arts in general, the long history of Japanese painting exhibits synthesis and competition between native Japanese aesthetics and the adaptation of imported ideas, mainly from Chinese painting, which was especially influential at a number of points; significant Western influence only comes from the later 16th century onwards, beginning at the same time as Japanese art was influencing that of the West.
Dong Qichang, was a Chinese painter, calligrapher, politician, and art theorist of the later period of the Ming Dynasty.
Fu Baoshi, or Fu Pao-Shih, (1904-1965) was a Chinese painter from Xinyu, Jiangxi Province. He went to Japan to study the History of Oriental Art in the Tokyo School of Fine Arts in 1933. He translated many books from Japanese and carried out his own research. In painting itself, he brought Japanese visual elements to the Chinese ink painting tradition.
The Southern School of Chinese painting, often called "literati painting", is a term used to denote art and artists which stand in opposition to the formal Northern School of painting. The distinction is not geographic, but relates to the style and contents of the works, and to some extent to the position of the artist. Typically, where professional, formal painters were classified as Northern School, scholar-bureaucrats who had either retired from the professional world or who were never a part of it constituted the Southern School.
Guan Daosheng also known as Guan Zhongji or Lady Zhongji was a Chinese poet and painter who was active during the early Yuan Dynasty. She is credited with being "the most famous female painter and calligrapher in the Chinese history...remembered not only as a talented woman, but also as a prominent figure in the history of bamboo painting." She is also a well-known poet in the Yuan dynasty.
The decade of the 1100s in art involved some significant events.
Inksticks (Chinese: 墨 Mò; or ink cakes are a type of solid ink Chinese ink used traditionally in several East Asian cultures for calligraphy and brush painting. Inksticks are made mainly of soot and animal glue, sometimes with incense or medicinal scents added. To make ink, the inkstick is ground against an inkstone with a small quantity of water to produce a dark liquid which is then applied with an ink brush. Artists and calligraphers may vary the concentration of the resulting ink according to their preferences by reducing or increasing the intensity and duration of ink grinding.
Gong Kai was a Chinese government official during the last years of the Song Dynasty. The latter part of the Song Dynasty, in which Gong Kai lived, is known as the Southern Song Dynasty (1127–1279). After the fall of the Song Dynasty to the Yuan Dynasty, he became what was known as a scholar-amateur painter. The artists of the Song were mostly influenced by momentary and sporadic pleasures and beauty. However, there is no evidence that Gong Kai painted during this period. Instead, most paintings attributed to Gong Kai are from Yuan Dynasty (1271–1368).
Jing Hao was a Chinese landscape painter and theorist of the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period in Northern China. As an artist, he is often cited along with his pupil, Guan Tong, as one of the most critical figures in the development of the style of monumental landscape painting which appeared near the end of the Five Dynasties period. Later this style would come to be known as the Northern Landscape style; it strongly influenced the tradition of Northern Song painters. As a theorist, he is the person most responsible for codifying the theories underlying the work of later painters, and his treatises on painting and aesthetics continued to serve as textbooks for Northern Song artists more than a century after his death.
Works of bamboo painting, usually in ink, are a recognized motif or subgenre of East Asian painting. In a work of bamboo painting in ink, a skilled artist and calligrapher will paint a bamboo stalk or group of stalks with leaves. The contrast between the foreground and background, and between the varying textures represented by the stalks and the leaves, gave scope to the painter to demonstrate his or her mastery with an inkpot and a brush.
Wang Shen, courtesy name Jinqing, was a Chinese calligrapher, painter, poet, and politician of the Song dynasty. He is best known for his surviving paintings, poetry, and calligraphy, and for his relationships with prominent statesmen and early amateur literati artists such as Su Shi, Huang Tingjian and Mi Fu.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mi Fu .|