The Info List - Gu Kaizhi

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Gu Kaizhi
Gu Kaizhi
(simplified Chinese: 顾恺之; traditional Chinese: 顧愷之; pinyin: Gù Kǎizhī; Wade–Giles: Ku K'ai-chih; c. 344–406), courtesy name Changkang (長康), was a celebrated painter of ancient China.[1] He was born in Wuxi
and first painted at Nanjing in 364. In 366, he became an officer (Da Sima Canjun, 大司馬參軍). Later he was promoted to royal officer (Sanji Changshi, 散騎常侍). He was also a talented poet and calligrapher. He wrote three books about painting theory: On Painting (畫論), Introduction of Famous Paintings of Wei and Jin Dynasties (魏晉勝流畫贊) and Painting Yuntai Mountain (畫雲台山記). He wrote: "In figure paintings the clothes and the appearances were not very important. The eyes were the spirit and the decisive factor."[1] Gu's art is known today through copies of several silk handscroll paintings attributed to him.


1 The Admonitions of the Instructress to the Court Ladies (女史箴圖) 2 Nymph of the Luo River (洛神賦) 3 Wise and Benevolent Women (列女仁智圖) 4 Notes 5 References 6 Further reading 7 External links

The Admonitions of the Instructress to the Court Ladies (女史箴圖)[edit] Main article: Admonitions Scroll This painting, dated between the 6th and 8th century AD[2] - probably an early Tang Dynasty
Tang Dynasty
copy - illustrates nine stories from a political satire about Empress Jia Nanfeng written by Zhang Hua (ca. 232-302). Beginning in the eighth century, many collectors and emperors left seals, poems, and comments on the scroll. The Admonitions scroll was stored in the emperor's treasure until it was looted by the British army in the Boxer Uprising
Boxer Uprising
in 1900.[1] Now it is in the British Museum collection, missing the first three scenes. There is another surviving copy of this painting, made during the Song Dynasty
Song Dynasty
and is now held in the Palace Museum
Palace Museum
in Beijing. The Song version is complete in twelve scenes. The painting is on silk and is a polychrome. "The figures, whose countenances are at once solemn and tranquil, are described with a thin, unmodulated brush-line.... The brush-mode...has been described as 'spring silkworms spitting silk'".[3]

The British Museum
British Museum
copy of The Admonitions of the Instructress to the Court Ladies

A section of the Palace Museum
Palace Museum
copy of The Admonitions of the Instructress to the Court Ladies

Take a good look at the way the clothing is painted and you will see the exquisite variety and detail employed by the artist. Nymph of the Luo River (洛神賦)[edit] Nymph of the Luo River is a painting by Gu which illustrates a poem written by Cao Zhi
Cao Zhi
(192-232). It survives in three copies dating to the Song Dynasty.[4] One copy is now held in the Palace Museum
Palace Museum
in Beijing,[4] and another one is now at the Freer Gallery
Freer Gallery
in Washington, D.C.[4] The third was brought to Manchuria by the last emperor Pu Yi (1906–1967) while he was the puppet emperor of Manchukuo
under Japanese rule. When the Japanese surrendered in 1945 the painting disappeared. After ten years the Liaoning Province Museum
Liaoning Province Museum
recovered it.[4]

The Palace Museum
Palace Museum
copy of the Nymph of the Luo River, Southern Song.

The Freer Gallery
Freer Gallery
of Art copy of the Nymph of the Luo River, Southern Song.

A section of the Liaoning Provincial Museum
Liaoning Provincial Museum
copy of the Nymph of the Luo River, Southern Song.

Wise and Benevolent Women (列女仁智圖)[edit] Wise and Benevolent Women survives in a 13th-century copy dating to the Song Dynasty, and is today located in the Palace Museum
Palace Museum
in Beijing.[5] It illustrates a subset of the women described in the Han dynasty work Biographies of Exemplary Women. The 5 meter long scroll is divided into 10 sections, with each section containing a short description.[6]

The 13th century Palace Museum
Palace Museum
copy of the Wise and Benevolent Women, full painting.


^ a b c Cihai: Page 1846. ^ Admonitions Scroll ^ Wang Yao-t'ing, Looking at Chinese Painting: A Comprehensive Guide to the Philosophy, Technique and History of Chinese Painting. (First English edition) Tokyo: Nigensha Publishing, 1995. ISBN 4-544-02066-2, p. 129 ^ a b c d Nymph of the Luo River ^ Wu Hung (1996). The double screen: medium and representation in Chinese painting. University of Chicago Press. p. 167. ISBN 0-226-36074-1.  ^ (Xin et al. 1997, p. 47)


Xin, Yang; Chongzheng, Nie; Shaojun, Lang; Barnhard, Richard M (1997), Three thousand years of Chinese painting, New Haven, ISBN 978-0-300-07013-2  Ci hai bian ji wei yuan hui (辞海编辑委员会). Ci hai (辞海). Shanghai: Shanghai ci shu chu ban she (上海辞书出版社), 1979.

Further reading[edit]

McCausland, Shane; Museum, British (2003), Gu Kaizhi
Gu Kaizhi
and the Admonitions scroll, British Museum
British Museum

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Gu Kaizhi.

The Admonitions Scroll
Admonitions Scroll
in the British Museum 洛神賦图在线高清展览

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 109582598 LCCN: n82072851 ISNI: 0000 0001 2147 4297 GND: 128706694 SUDOC: 076907341 BNF: cb145446768 (data) ULAN: 500120602 NLA: 3673