Lectures on the History of Chinese Landscape Painting


The lectures can be seen here:



An excerpts of Lecture one:

Before I started learning the professional knowledge about Chinese

landscape painting when I saw these paintings, sometimes I would think they looked similar to me.

But anyhow, the master works, will never fail to arouse some deep feelings from me.

Just as with the traditional Chinese music I'll give you an example of Guqin here (Music from Guqin-a plucked seven-string Chinese musical instrument of the zither),I feel my soul is trembling on these strings.

As to me, every Chinese painting arouses poetic feelings in my heart.

There are many scholars trying to find out the relationship between Chinese poems and Chinese paintings.

And among them, one of the foremost authorities of Chinese art in the Western World

-Professor James Cahill, who has just passed away. In his brilliant book, The Lyric Journey, he suggests the following

“A mode of painting that at its best is technically superlative, deeply moving, and in the broad sense of the word poetic."

      He thought Poetic painting as a popular mode of painting existed in the 11th to 13th centuries and the 15th to 16th centuries, as he


      But what I am going to discuss in my course is much wider than that definition

      Because to me, the spiritual line between Chinese poems and Chinese Paintings cannot be limited to certain mode of painting that

flourished in these two periods but also has existed since the start of Chinese culture. So in my lectures, I am going to guide you into

the history of Chinese Landscape painting from the Han Dynasty to the 21st century using a special key: Chinese Poems. The choice of

the guidance is mainly based on my personal understanding of the paintings so you can have your own choices too.

Yet I hope this will give you a special way to appreciate Traditional Chinese paintings and correspondingly to Enjoy the Chinese poems at

the same time.


  事实上 在我开始学习中国山水画的专业知识之前,当我看这些画时,曾觉得它们有些相似。然而 这些大师之作总能唤起我心底最深切的情感,就像中国古乐给我的感觉一样。下面我给大家放一小段古琴曲(《阳关三叠》 管平湖演奏)。我感到我的心在随着琴弦颤动。对我来说 每一幅中国画都能激发我的诗情画意。很多学者都在试图寻找中国诗歌与画作之间的关系,其中一位是西方研究中国艺术的最高权威之一高居翰教授,他刚刚过世不久。在他的杰作《诗之旅》中,他作出了以下阐释:“中国发展出了一种绘画样式,其最完美的作品技巧绝伦 深切动人,并就广义而言 充满诗意 ”