The art of the Song dynasty

The Song dynasty is known especially for the development of monumental landscape painting.

960 - 1279

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Song dynasty (960–1279), an introduction
Song dynasty (960–1279), an introduction

Overall, the Song dynasty was a time of stability and economic, cultural, and artistic prosperity.

Liang Kai (attributed), <em>White Egret</em>
Liang Kai (attributed), White Egret

A painting of a lonely white egret standing in shallow water, attributed to the famous painter Liang Kai

The art of salvation—Mt. Baoding, Dazu rock carvings
The art of salvation—Mt. Baoding, Dazu rock carvings

The monumental sculptural complex at Mt. Baoding, Dazu in China consists of nearly 10,000 painted and gilded images of Buddhist deities and narrative scenes carved out of sandstone.

Master of the (Fishing) Nets Garden
Master of the (Fishing) Nets Garden

Every inch of this contemplative space was carefully crafted—there’s bamboo, patterned paving, and scholar’s rocks.

Liang Kai, <em>Poet Strolling by a Marshy Bank</em>
Liang Kai, Poet Strolling by a Marshy Bank

The subject is conventional, but Liang Kai’s airy composition makes this painting unusual. What’s behind the mist?

Neo-Confucianism and Fan Kuan, <em>Travelers by Streams and Mountains</em>
Neo-Confucianism and Fan Kuan, Travelers by Streams and Mountains

This monumental landscape is the most majestic example of early Song “mountain water” painting.

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