Four Gentlemen

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Four Gentlemen
Chinese name
Chinese 四君子
Vietnamese name
Vietnamese alphabet Tứ Quân Tử
Chữ Hán
Korean name
Hangul 사군자
Hanja 四君子
Japanese name
Kanji 四君子
Hiragana しくんし

The Four Gentlemen, also called the Four Noble Ones, in Chinese art refers to four plants: the plum blossom, the orchid, the chrysanthemum, and the bamboo.[1][2] The term compares the four plants to Confucianist junzi, or "gentlemen". They are most typically depicted in traditional ink and wash painting and they belong to the category of bird-and-flower painting in Chinese art.

The Four Gentlemen have been used in Chinese painting since the time of the Chinese Song Dynasty (960–1279) because of their refined beauty, and were later adopted elsewhere in East Asia by artists in Korea, Japan, and Vietnam. As they represent the four different seasons (the plum blossom for winter, the orchid for spring, the chrysanthemum for autumn, and the bamboo for summer), the four are used to depict the unfolding of the seasons through the year.


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