Silk painting

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Changsha dragon (China)

Silk painting is a traditional painting genre of Asia. The Tibetan Thangka is the best known religious form.

National Styles[edit]


One of the earliest surviving Chinese silk paintings is a 2-metre long T-shaped painting, dated around 165 BCE, from the Mawangdui Tomb.[1][2] Though painting on silk quickly gave way to painting on paper.


Main article: Thangka


Silk painting (Tranh lụa) was a traditional artisanry in Vietnam, taken up by some of the students and French teachers at the EBAI in Hanoi during the 1930s.[3] The earliest representative of the new interest in silk painting was the 1931 Paris exhibition of the silk paintings of Nguyễn Phan Chánh, a student of EBAI who had originally trained in calligraphy, who struggled with French oil techniques, and whom the school director Victor Tardieu encouraged to use traditional media.[4]


  1. ^ The art of Chinese painting - Page 17 2006 "Another important silk painting was unearthed from the Mawangdui Tomb near Chanshan. It is estimated to belong to the period around 165 BC. The painting is in a T-shape. Archaeologists call it "non-dress" painting as it looks like a dress but ..."
  2. ^ The legend of Mawangdui - Page 57 Dongxia Zhang - 2007 "This huge, 2-meter-long, intact silk painting was the first discovery of its kind in Chinese archaeological history. "
  3. ^ Painters in Hanoi: an ethnography of Vietnamese art - Page 35 Nora A. Taylor - 2009 "Thus, the myth that silk painting was "discovered" by teachers and students at the EBAI is perpetuated because ... Unlike lacquer, silk painting was never considered at the EBAI a craft, but it was categorized as an indigenous form of artisanry."
  4. ^ Caroline Turner Tradition and change: contemporary art of Asia and the Pacific - 1993 "Tardieu also encouraged experimentation with such traditional media as lacquer and silk. Although a poor student in anatomy and oil, Nguyen Phan Chanh (1892-1984) excelled in silk. In 1931 , he exhibited his first silk paintings in Paris ."