Painting in National Palace Museum, Song dynasty part1
Welcome to the National Palace Museum's collection of paintings from the Song dynasty! These works of art were created by some of the most talented artists in Chinese history, and they provide us with a unique insight into Chinese culture during this period. You will find landscapes such as Strange Peaks and Myriad Trees, River Boats and Mountain Town, and Reading in an Open Hall. There are also religious works such as The Buddha Preaching the Law and Scroll of Buddhist Images. Other pieces include Preparing Clothes, The Ladies' Book of Filial Piety (Scroll 1), Literary Gathering, and Plants and Insects in Autumn. We hope you enjoy exploring these incredible artifacts!
1. Strange Peaks and Myriad Trees
This painting shows a scene with high mountains in the distance, appearing above clouds and mist. In the foreground, there are more mountains enveloped in mist. The three groups of mountains skillfully echo each other. The blank areas of clouds and mist make the mountains stand out even more.
2. River Boats and Mountain Town
This painting shows two mountains rising up to surround a town. The temple buildings are on a level outcropping and built up the slope. The valley below is filled with clouds and mists, and birds are flying around. This conveys the sense of a scene at dusk.
3. The Buddha Preaching the Law
The painting shows the Buddha seated with legs crossed on a lotus pedestal. On each side of him are a heavenly king who protects the Buddhist law, the great disciples Ananda and Mahakashyapa, and a bodhisattva making offerings.
4. Preparing Clothes
The painting shows 32 women making clothes for their husbands who are at the battlefront. The women's faces look round and full, and their robes look large and flowing. This suggests that they have some old-fashioned features from the Tang dynasty.
5. The Ladies' Book of Filial Piety (Scroll 1)
The Ladies' Book of Filial Piety was written by Madame Zheng, the wife of Houmo-Chen Miao, during the Tang dynasty (618-907). This handscroll originally had eighteen sections, but only half of them remain today.
6. Literary Gathering
This painting shows a group of scholars enjoying a banquet in a garden by a pond. There is a large table with food and drinks under a tree, and in the foreground there is a group of young attendants preparing tea. The figures are all spirited and elegant, and the painting is very detailed.
7. Scroll of Buddhist Images
This painting is the only one that has survived from the Dali kingdom. It is very important for understanding the history, religion, culture, and art of that time period. The painting is divided into four sections.
8. Plants and Insects in Autumn
Li Di was a painter who worked at the court during the Northern to Southern Song period. He was especially good at painting birds, flowers, insects, and grass. This particular painting shows a praying mantis raising its forelimbs in an attempt to catch a beetle that has just flown away.
9. Reading in an Open Hall
This painting depicts a courtyard near a lake, surrounded by hills and decorated with rocks from the lake. There is a pavilion in the courtyard with a daybed, a screen, and hanging scrolls. There is also a table with a porcelain vase and an incense burner.