Zhou Fang (Tang dynasty)

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Court Lady Tuning the Lute, attributed to Zhou Fang.
Court Ladies Playing Double Sixes, attributed to Zhou Fang.

Zhou Fang (Chinese: 周昉; Wade–Giles: Chou Fang; c. 730–800), courtesy name Zhonglang (仲朗), was an influential painter during the mid-Tang dynasty. Zhou lived in the Tang capital of Chang'an, which is now modern Xi'an, during the 8th century. He came from a noble background and this was reflected in his works, such as Court Ladies Adorning Their Hair with Flowers (attributed) and Court Lady With Servants. He was influenced by the pure and detailed style of Gu Kaizhi and Lu Tanwei from the Six dynasties in his work. The late Tang art critic Zhu Jingxuan said: "Zhou Fang's Buddha, celestial beings, figures, and paintings of beautiful women are all incredible masterpieces."

Zhou was an important figure in the Tang Dynasty after Wu Daozi. He was a famous religious painter and character painter, and the most famous painting Zhou created is a Buddhist image called "Water Moon Goddess of Mercy". His Buddhist painting has become a long-standing popular standard, known as "Zhou Jiaxiang". Zhou Fang's artistic activity is long, up to three or four decades, that is, the calendar to Zhenyuan years (766-805), its activities mainly concentrated in Chang'an and Jiangnan two places. Due to his official career and aristocratic status, Zhou lived and worked with many notabilities. Therefore he had the opportunity to accept Zhang Xuan's painting theme and artistic techniques. Zhou Fang's style and Zhang Xuan's style of the traces are so similar so that later generations have to distinguish between the small different of the color stained on ladies.

Most of Zhou Fang's works have been lost, but the title can still be seen from the general content, such as: You spring, cooking tea, railing, flute, dance crane, lap, flute, Go and other names of the ladies figure. In the Tang Dynasty, his works were very popular among the Korean. Until today, we can still find Zhou Fang style's ancient ladies painting in Japan. The image of the abundance of women in the Tang Dynasty is widely popular, which is even found in Xinjiang Turpan Tomb.

Lady With Servants attributed to Zhou Fang.

See also[edit]

  • Zhang Xuan, another significant painter of the middle Tang dynasty.