Start Dating dynasty

Dating dynasty

Of these, the Kangxi and Qianlong Emperors were the greatest patrons of traditional Chinese art, notably painting and calligraphy, as well as a range of decorative art and crafts.

The former was embodied by Yuan Jiang (c.1690-1724), whose style embraced the work of Guo Xi (1020-90) as well as the mannered expressionism of the late Ming period; and by Jiao Bingzhen (1689–1726), who applied Western perspective to his pen and ink drawings, which were often reproduced in the form of wood engravings.

The more orthodox/conservative style of painting - generally landscape painting - was represented by scholar-artists like "The Four Wangs": Wang Shimin (1592-1680), Wang Jian (1598-1677), Wang Hui (1632-1717) and Wang Yuanqi (1642-1715).

In 1644, unified by strong leaders, the Manchus swept down through the Great Wall, captured Beijing and established their own Qing (or Pure) dynasty, thus ending the era of Ming Dynasty art (1368-1644).

Originally founded by the Jurchen Aisin Gioro clan, the Qing dynasty controlled China until the end of the dynastic era in 1911.

They included a number of foreigners, notably Italian Jesuits attached to the Forbidden City (like Giuseppe Castiglione: 1688-1768), whose workshop produced paintings that used techniques unknown to most Chinese painters, such as linear perspective and chiaroscuro.

In general, Chinese painting under the Qings is characterized both by lavish decoration and orthodox academicism.

In contrast, the group now known as the Anhui school - that is, a group of Ming loyalists including Ding Yunpeng (1547-1628), Xiao Yuncong (1596–1673), Mei Qing (1623-97), and Zha Shibiao (1615-98) - based themselves on the dry linear style of the Yuan artist Ni Zan (1301-74).

Two other Qing painters, both survivors of the deposed Ming family, left an especially enduring legacy.

Indeed, the Manchus had been imitating Chinese ways for some time prior to their invasion, and their rulers, particularly Kangxi and Qianlong, were well-educated leaders who were keen to enlist the support of Chinese scholars.

The Qianlong emperor ranks alongside Emperor Huizong from the era of Song Dynasty art (960-1279) as the most culturally active of the Qings, assembling a collection of some 4,000 works of painting and calligraphy and listing them in successive editions of the Shiqubaoji.

Qing Dynasty emperors brought with them their own Manchu traditions and language but were quick to adopt Chinese art and culture to seal their legitimacy as Confucian-style rulers.