Dong Qichang, in the Shade of Summer Trees, 17th Century, Ming Dynasty

1028 WordsMay 26, 20115 Pages
Lindsay David Art History 6D 3 June 2008 Dong Qichang, In the Shade of Summer Trees, 17th century, Ming Dynasty This painting is from the Ming Dynasty, and very clearly depicts and captures the essence of The Southern School, or Literati painters. The first thing to note is the overall composition of the painting. First and foremost it is a landscape painting. The colors are very monochrome; the space is stretched to reveal a depth to the painting that the eye cannot capture; and there is stillness to the art that embraces nature and serenity of life. In the right-hand corner of the painting there is calligraphy. The calligraphy lacks the precision, but is very clear in its form, much like the depiction within the painting…show more content…
The painting takes what the eye can see and extends it further, to a realm that cannot be captured by someone unless they have the patience and diligence to see beyond the obvious and capture more than the eye permits. Dong Qichang is revealing his discovery of nature and its importance and relevance to himself at a particular moment in time. There is an inner truth and realization that is depicted with every stroke of the brush and as each different element is unveiled, a different realization of life and nature is put down as a record. After attempting to emulate the techniques of Dong Qichang, and create a literati painting using the California scenery, I have realized many things. One is that I would never make it as a painter. The other things revolve around the life of the painting. The painting seems to resonate with a vitality that is captured through the depiction of a moment in time. The wind moves all the trees, and forces them to take on a life of their own and assume a position that seizes a particular moment, even though the layout and the trees themselves seem to lack the likeness to what we would expect to see in nature. The water is caught in a single moment, and we can see the life in it as it tries to get past the rocks and settle below. We know that the water is only in that particular position for a miniscule amount of time, and we can see that the painting truly captures a very distinct and precise time. The painting

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