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Song and Yuan Dynasties (960 – 1368)

Song and Yuan Dynasties (960 – 1368)
In the Song Dynasty period (960-1279), landscapes in painting is the impressionistic treatment of natural phenomena. They appeared with more subtle expression, immeasurable distances were conveyed through the use of blurred outlines and mountain contours disappearing into the mist. Zhang Zeduan who painted Along the River During the Qingming Festival is one of the most famous artists of the period.

According to Taoist and Buddhist concepts,emphasis was placed on the spiritual qualities of the painting and on the ability of the artist to reveal the inner harmony of man and nature.

In order to suggest misty space,the court painters such as Ma Yuan and Xia Gui always used strong black brushstrokes to sketch trees and rocks during the Southern Song period.

At the end of Northern Song period,not as many Chinese artists who were tempting to represent three-dimensional objects and to master the illusion of space, another group of painters like the poet Su Shi and the scholar-officials in his circle pursued very different goals .They created a new kind of art in which they used their skills in calligraphy (the art of beautiful writing) to make ink paintings.Frome then on, many painters strove to freely express their feelings and to capture the inner spirit of their subject instead of describing its outward appearance.

From Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368), painters joined the arts of painting, poetry, and calligraphy by inscribing poems on their paintings. They worked together to express the artist’s feelings more completely than one art could do.