Three perfections is the gathering of poets, calligraphers and painters to create an artwork in ancient China and Japan. The resulting product would be a painting that would include the work of a calligrapher to write a poem.
Legend holds that the Tang dynasty poets Du Fu and Li Bai were the first to introduce the combination of painting and poetry into one artwork. Several hundred years later, Su Shi, a poet and painter, promoted the use of poetry and painting together. Instruction of artists at the Northern Song Imperial Painting Academy included the integration of poetry and painting. As a result of the prevalence of the merged arts into the "Three perfections" a common expression emerged, the "soundless poem" to describe how one might experience a painting with sound, sight, smell, touch, and emotions.
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.
Classical Chinese poetry is traditional Chinese poetry written in Classical Chinese and typified by certain traditional forms, or modes; traditional genres; and connections with particular historical periods, such as the poetry of the Tang Dynasty. The existence of classical Chinese poetry is documented at least as early as the publication of the Classic of Poetry,. Various combinations of forms and genres have developed over the ages. Many or most of these poetic forms were developed by the end of the Tang Dynasty, in 907 CE.
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.
Tang dynasty art is Chinese art made during the Tang dynasty (618–907). The period saw great achievements in many forms—painting, sculpture, calligraphy, music, dance and literature. The Tang dynasty, with its capital at Chang'an, the most populous city in the world at the time, is regarded by historians as a high point in Chinese civilization—equal, or even superior, to the Han period. The Tang period was considered the golden age of literature and art.
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.
Wen Zhengming, born Wen Bi, was a Chinese painter, calligrapher, and poet during the Ming dynasty. He was regarded as one of the Four Masters of Ming painting.
Shen Yinmo was a Chinese poet and calligrapher.
Huang Tingjian was a Chinese calligrapher, painter, and poet of the Song dynasty. He is predominantly known as a calligrapher, and is also admired for his painting and poetry. He was one of the Four Masters of the Song Dynasty, and was a younger friend of Su Shi and influenced by his and his friends' practice of literati painting, calligraphy, and poetry.
Shen Zhou, courtesy name Qi'nan (启南) and Shitian (石田), was a Chinese painter in the Ming dynasty.
Mi Fu 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.
Ōtagaki Rengetsu was a Buddhist nun who is widely regarded to have been one of the greatest Japanese poets of the 19th century. She was also a skilled potter and painter and expert calligrapher.
Tang Yin, courtesy name Tang Bohu (唐伯虎), was a Chinese painter, calligrapher, and poet of the Ming dynasty period whose life story has become a part of popular lore. Even though he was born during the Ming dynasty, many of his paintings, especially those of people, were illustrated with elements from Pre-Tang to Song dynasty art.
The arts of China have varied throughout its ancient history, divided into periods by the ruling dynasties of China and changing technology, but still containing a high degree of continuity. Different forms of art have been influenced by great philosophers, teachers, religious figures and even political leaders. The arrival of Buddhism and modern Western influence produced especially large changes. Chinese art encompasses fine arts, folk arts and performance arts.
The Four Masters of the Ming dynasty are a traditional grouping in Chinese art history of four famous Chinese painters of the Ming dynasty. The group are Shen Zhou (1427-1509), Wen Zhengming (1470-1559), both of the Wu School, Tang Yin (1470-1523), and Qiu Ying (c.1494-c.1552). They were approximate contemporaries, with Shen Zhou the teacher of Wen Zhengming, while the other two studied with Zhou Chen. Their styles and subject matter were varied. Shen and Wen exemplified the Wu School ideal of the gentleman artist, while Tang and Qiu epitomized the accomplished Suzhou professional. Qiu was solely a painter; the other three developed distinct styles of painting, calligraphy, and poetry.
Song poetry refers to Classical Chinese poetry of or typical of the Song dynasty of China (960–1279). The dynasty was established by the Zhao family in China in 960 and lasted until 1279.
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.
Jonathan Chaves, B.A. Brooklyn College, 1965; M.A. Columbia University, 1966; PhD Columbia University, 1971, is Professor of Chinese Language and Literature at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. He is a translator of classic Chinese poetry.
Poet on a Mountaintop is a painting by the Ming Dynasty artist Shen Zhou (1427–1509). Shen Zhou was a firm believer of Daoism as he mimicked the style of Yuan Dynasty administrators through his paintings.