Fan Kuan

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Fan Kuan
Fan Kuan - Travelers Among Mountains and Streams - Google Art Project.jpg
Travellers among Mountains and Streams (谿山行旅), ink and slight color on silk, dimensions of 6¾ ft x 2½ ft.[1] National Palace Museum, Taipei[2]
Born c. 960
Died c. 1030
Nationality Chinese
Known for Landscapes
Movement Song Dynasty, Northern Landscape style

Fan Kuan (Chinese: 范寬; pinyin: Fàn Kuān; Wade–Giles: Fan K’uan) (c. 960 - c. 1030;[3] fl. 990–1020)[1] was a Chinese landscape painter of the Song Dynasty (960–1279) considered among the great masters of the tenth and eleventh centuries.

Travelers among Mountains and Streams, a large hanging scroll, is Fan Kuan's best known work and a seminal painting of the Northern Song school. It establishes an ideal in monumental landscape painting to which later painters were to return time and again for inspiration.[4] The classic Chinese perspective of three planes is evident - near, middle (represented by water and mist), and far. Unlike earlier examples of Chinese landscape art, the grandeur of nature is the main theme, rather than merely providing a backdrop.[3] A packhorse train can barely be seen emerging from a wood at the base of a towering precipice. The painting's style encompasses archaic conventions dating back to the Tang Dynasty.[5]

The historian Patricia Ebrey explains her view on the painting that the:

...foreground, presented at eye level, is executed in crisp, well-defined brush strokes. Jutting boulders, tough scrub trees, a mule train on the road, and a temple in the forest on the cliff are all vividly depicted. There is a suitable break between the foreground and the towering central peak behind, which is treated as if it were a backdrop, suspended and fitted into a slot behind the foreground. There are human figures in this scene, but it is easy to imagine them overpowered by the magnitude and mystery of their surroundings.[6]

Fan's masterpiece Travellers among Mountains and Streams bears a lost half-hidden signature rediscovered only in 1958.[7]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Ebrey, Cambridge Illustrated History of China, 162.
  2. ^ Liu, 50.
  3. ^ a b Conrad Schirokauer; Miranda Brown; David Lurie; Suzanne Gay (1 January 2012). A Brief History of Chinese and Japanese Civilizations. Cengage Learning. p. 223. ISBN 0-495-91322-7. 
  4. ^ Sullivan, The Arts of China, 179.
  5. ^ Sullivan, The Arts of China, 180.
  6. ^ Ebrey, Cambridge Illustrated History of China, 162–163.
  7. ^ Sullivan, The Arts of China, 180.

References[edit]

  • Liu, Pingheng (1989). Shui mo yin yun, qi yun sheng dong de Zhongguo hui hua (水墨絪縕, 氣韻生動的中國繪畫) = Misty and Lively Chinese Painting. Taibei Shi: Guo li li shi bo wu guan (國立歷史博物館).
  • Ebrey, Patricia Buckley. The Cambridge Illustrated History of China. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999.

External links[edit]