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Masterpieces of Chinese masters - characteristics and principles of painting

Asian traditions, customs and cultural features have always attracted the interest of Europeans. Different from Western ones, extraordinary and mysterious, they deserve the most careful study. And our article will tell you about one of the directions of oriental art, which is characterized by deep originality, originality and high expressiveness, will introduce you to its main techniques and varieties. This is a Chinese gohua painting. 

Asian traditions, customs, and cultural features have always attracted the interest of Europeans. Different from Western ones, extraordinary and mysterious, they deserve the most careful study. And our article, in collaboration with, will tell you about one of the directions of oriental art, which is characterized by deep originality, originality, and high expressiveness, and will introduce you to its main techniques and varieties. This is a Chinese Joshua painting.

What are gohua paintings?

This type of artistic skill appeared and began to develop a long time ago. This made it possible to work out the entire process of creating a picture down to the smallest detail, turning it into an activity as refined and sophisticated as calligraphy. By the way, in China, these types of art are called "sisters" - and quite justifiably, because both the artist and the calligrapher use the same material. But what exactly?

First of all, it's mascara. Unlike Western samples, Asian paint is formed into dense bars that sparkle with a lacquered black sheen. There are more than a hundred of its varieties - an experienced craftsman can determine a specific type by smell, density, and even the sound that the tile makes if it is tapped on the edge of the table!

In order to obtain a substance suitable for painting, the ink is rubbed with water in a special vessel - the inkpot - until a thick, slightly oily consistency is obtained. Subsequently, blurring this substance, the artist gets the opportunity to convey many tones - from saturated black to a transparent foggy gray shade. And in order to fill Chinese drawings with color, mineral, and vegetable paints are used.

The brushes of masters are also very diverse. Their diameter is from 5 mm (used for drawing the finest details) to 5 cm - they are used for depicting backgrounds, blurring, and toning. Experts call this the power of a stroke - it can be as light as a cloud or as strong as a dragon. With the help of simple lines and strokes, the painter creates exciting, realistic, and airy works, in no way inferior to European ones, in which the main means of expressing images are color and chiaroscuro.

Most often, pictures are written on special rice paper with very soft and thin fibers. This is where the saying about the "four treasures of a scientist" comes from - this is the poetic name for writing equipment, i.e. brush, ink, paper and inkwell (in Chinese it sounds like "wen fan si bao"). But sometimes more exotic materials are used - for example, cotton and silk. Watercolor drawings on this delicate fabric look particularly airy and transparent.

Recently, paintings made of amber have become increasingly popular - this precious stone is considered particularly auspicious by the Chinese. According to the teachings of Feng Shui, it harmonizes the space in the house, gets rid of diseases and prevents quarrels. Of course, only natural gems have similar properties - for example, those that make up the works presented in our online store.

Secrets of Chinese painting

Oriental works of art are characterized by a combination of realism and convention. Such a combination is especially vividly manifested in the so-called multi-plane perspective - when a river that seems endless, its surrounding landscape and other panoramas that are actually hidden behind the horizon line are reproduced on a narrow scroll. This allows the master to create a special world, harmonious, mysterious and enchanting.

Other characteristic features that make it possible to immediately distinguish Chinese paintings are the conciseness and clarity of the composition, local color spots, the rhythmicity of the contours (the image of the coast can be correlated with the line of mountains, and the flower repeats the outline of the wings of a butterfly), the absence of chiaroscuro. Simplicity and strictness in the image do not exclude decorativeness - on the contrary, it is the refined and delicate details that complete the work.

Similar principles were approved by the founder of this direction, Se He, in his treatise "Notes on the Categories of ancient painting". In it, the scientist laid out six laws that every artist should know. These include, in particular, the ability to convey live movement and "spiritual pace", balance in placement, and correspondence of contours and tones of the original drawing. Taoism, Buddhism, and Confucianism also influenced the development of art.

Gohua symbolism - what is encrypted in the picture?

In the Asian tradition, each image is associated with legends, tales, and teachings. Therefore, it is very important to correctly determine the composition of the picture, because only in this way will it be possible to depict the interaction of the two main principles - Heaven and Earth. These primordial elements, also known as male (Yang) and female (Yin) energy, created the elements of Fire, Metal, Wood, Earth, and Water, from which all the rest of the universe arose. Thanks to this, all plots, in addition to the obvious meaning, contained a hidden meaning.

Thus, the image of a snowy landscape predicted the winter solstice - a time when a new world arose in the darkness. The mountains were the embodiment of the beginning of Yang, and the water - rivers, lakes and the sea - the darkness of Yin. In addition, stony rocks were perceived as the bones of the Earth, and streams - as veins through which, pulsing and raging, flowed blood that gives movement and life. Drawing them, the master tried to reproduce world harmony, natural rhythm, but naturalism was in the background.

Depicting any landscape, the Chinese picture at the same time symbolized a shelter in which a recluse - a poet and philosopher - hides from public pressure. Admiring the panorama unfolded in front of him, the connoisseur wanted to "get lost in the journeys", merge with nature and comprehend its secrets.

Drawings of trees were characterized by special aestheticism. For example, willow was considered an allegory of beauty, kindness, modesty, feminine grace and flexibility. She was also an attribute of the mother goddess Guanyin, and the first leaves on a branch became one of the signs that marked the arrival of spring.

The pine tree is a sign popular in both Confucian and Taoist teachings. Thus, in the works of Confucius, she is the embodiment of restraint and resistance to difficulties, and among the Taoists - the ideal of eternal youth.

The artists did not forget about the beauty of flowering plants. There was even a separate genre of gohua - flowers and birds. Most often you can see images of the "four noble plants" - orchids, chrysanthemums, bamboo and meihua (wild plum). Chinese painting gives each of them a specific meaning.

In particular, bamboo is the personification of a noble man with high moral qualities, who adheres to the Taoist philosophy and the ethics of Confucius. A branch of wild plum, strewn with delicate pink, white or yellow petals, means human pride, moral purity and steadfastness. But it also has a cosmogonic meaning: the branches and roots symbolize the power of Yin, the five-petaled flower - the solar beginning of Yang and the union of the five elements, and the three-privileged cup supporting it - the forces of Man, Earth and Heaven. Orchid is a sign of simplicity and hidden nobility, and chrysanthemum is the embodiment of autumn, beauty, common sense and sublime loneliness. By painting all four flowers on one canvas, the artist had in mind people whose friendship can withstand any test.

There are other traditional poetic allegories, which were guided by our masters, creating paintings from amber. Here are some of them:

  • dragon is a symbol of power, might, bravery and strength. In modern painting, this ancient snake can also mean a successful business man, a successful businessman;
  • phoenix is a female sign. In ancient China, fiery birds were allowed to be painted only on the clothes of the empress, but now they are ready to share the Yin energy with you;
  • the work on which the tiger is depicted protects against evil spirits, diseases and envious people;
  • the lion attracts the positive solar energy of Yang to the house, cultivates in people such character traits as nobility, calmness, self-confidence;
  • a crane or a turtle, which was located on a pile of stones near a pond - well-known allegories of longevity, success, an interesting, rich and fruitful life;
  • the image of a bat or a magpie will help to receive only pleasant and joyful news;
  • the dove is a relatively recent symbol, more common in the West. This bird means peace in the family, mutual understanding, pacification;
  • panels with an even number of elements (for example, drawings of a drake swimming next to a duck, two fish, butterflies or buds on the same stem) help to achieve happiness in marriage, marital harmony, build trusting and warm relationships;
  • carp - a way to wish a friend or acquaintance joy, material wealth, success in all endeavors;
  • lotus - a hint of spiritual enlightenment, inner purity and wisdom;
  • peony represents unforgettable beauty, rich harvest, honor;
  • hanging a picture of a pomegranate on the wall is a great way to get many descendants, because this fruit has long been a symbol of childbirth.

    Our online art store will help you purchase these original and high-quality works. The presented works are made of the best Polish amber, whose rich color range allows you to embody any tones and shades. Pieces of petrified resin and gem crumb merge into a single mosaic, which is securely fixed to the base. Admiring the extraordinary panel, you will be able to fully experience the beauty of the surrounding world, its perfection and harmony, get rid of negative emotions and worries!

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