The flower and bird painting is generally considered originating from the
Tang Dynasty and got well developed in the Five Dynasties till the Song Dynasty.
By the Ming and Qing Dynasties, the subject matter was relatively focused while
expression styles were various. It was an important period for the development of
flower and bird painting from the late Tang Dynasty to the Five Dynasties.
The royal painting studio appeared in the Nan Tang Dynasty of the Five Dynasties
period served as a great impetus for the development of flower and bird painting.
Song Dynasty was a mature age for the flower and bird painting and it gradually
became a subject of research. Many artists even spent their whole life to search
and innovate various skills in flower and bird painting. Among them, the most frequently
talked one was the promotional function of drawing to the skills of flower and bird painting.
A change occurred during the Bei Song and Nan Song period and the imperial court studio
played a vital role in it. Huizong emperor of Song Dynasty, Zhao Ji, was the key figure who,
although the emperor of the country, indulged himself in the art of painting and calligraphy.
He himself maintained the studio, forming a delicate taste in reflecting the fancy and elegance
of the imperial court. The so-called courtly style featuring exquisite touches and elegant colors
became the mainstream in the painting circle.
The exquisite painting style, which reached its acme in the Yuan Dynasty, was facing with
new choices. However, contrasted to the hill and water painting, the flower and bird painting,
upon completing vivid modeling and refined depiction, stressed the expression of artistic
conception and feelings in the flower and bird paintings.
After the Ming Dynasty, many flower and bird painting subjects were deeply influenced by their
figurative intentions, such as the richness of peony, the cleanness of daffodil, and the nobleness
of lotus, etc. Every stroke and color of them are delicately designed and depicted. Till the modern
and contemporary times, the flower and bird painting still serves as the most influential painting
genre, receiving more and more attention from people around the world.
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