Chinese Landscape Painting: Travelers Among Mountains And Streams
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In the Chinese art history, landscape painting has been viewed as the highest form of visual art besides calligraphy (Stafutti 2008). The painting, Travelers among Mountains and Streams is highly regarded as one of the most significant and influential landscape painting, which was created by Fan Kuan in the Northern Song dynasty.
It was during the Song period where there was a widespread of idea about Neo-Confucianism. With this influence, artists back then believed that li (moral principle) exists in every manifestation and it is only through interaction with the natural world they could deepen their understandings about the relevant principle of integrating with nature (Rhonda 1998). Thus, Fan Kuan illustrated mountain landscapes as his attempt to attain his spiritual growth.
As seen in the painting, one of the attractive features is certainly the portrayal of the enormous mountains with masses of plantations on top. Fan Kuan painted the mountains with firm brushstrokes besides having irregular and uneven outlines along the slopes. It is also known that he has used texture strokes ‘brush dabs like raindrops’ in the mountains (Rhonda 1998), thereby…show more content… Fan Kuan had demonstrated this through the usage of clear outlines of the subjects to reinforce their dimensionality, rendering them to be more alive in the painting. With contrasting ink tones in the painting, this contributes to creating an illusion of space, on top of generating the mood and atmosphere of the scenery. As much as the painter is being inspired by his religion, this landscape painting has been successful in making the viewers feel as if they are inside the picture. It is no wonder that such masterpiece is recognized as one of the model landscape paintings in the Chinese art history with Fan Kuan’s intricate artistic