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Chinaâ€™s centuries old history has evolved many unique pictures which exude a particular harmony and beauty and give the observer the opportunity to feel himself drawn into the picure and forget all the worries and unneccessary cravings the materialistic world nowadays forces on one.
The exceptional peacefulness of Chinaâ€™s pictures is induced by the artists choice of motif. Chinaâ€™s people, landscape, trees, flowers, rocks, birds and other animals have repeatedly been the center point of the artists attention and have shaped Chinaâ€™s traditional art.
Traditional Chinese art originates from the time before the Tang-Dynasty (618-907 A.D.). In those ancient days the main motif of Chinaâ€™s pictures were mainly people and the Chinese artists tried to capture them by using a line drawing technique. As of the middle of the Tang-Dynasty Chinese artists transferred their focus to Chinaâ€™s nature and brought forth Chinaâ€™s well-known landscape, flower and bird paintings.
Chinese artists were particularly supported by the upper-class during the Tang- and the Song-Dynasties (960-1270 A.D.) and could therefore sincerely concentrate on their artwork. Emperor Huizong of the Song-Dynasty even had an Academy of Art established, in order to leverage the talents of Chinaâ€™s artists and newcomers. It was a time when art was taken very seriously and Chinaâ€™s pictures had a political and educational undertone.
Throughout the following years Chinese art was increasingly influenced by the then evolving literature. Many of Chinaâ€™s writers had started to become interested in the pictures surrounding them and had felt an urge to utter their thoughts in pictures on a canvas instead of in just writing. As time passed by and the Mongolians took over the reign in China during the Yuan-Dynasty (1271-1368 A.D.), the once established Academy of Art was closed, the imperial court lost its influence on the artistsâ€™ style of painting and Chinese writers created a new era of Chinese painting dominated by their free and elegant style of capturing natureâ€™s beauty.
Chinaâ€™s pictures are fequently perceived as having been unrealistically painted, but one has to understand the kind of reality the Chinese artist tried to capture. It is not a three-dimensional reality which was aimed at, but natureâ€™s hidden reality which usually cannot be observed consciously. Chinese people have always given nature a higher meaning instead of just regarding it as something pretty to look at. They have sought nature in order to achieve some insight about ones life and life in general. And it is this subjective insight which marks natureâ€™s reality and is being reflected in Chinaâ€™s pictures.