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16 December 2009 @ 09:32 pm
Well Hello to China_lover community.
I decide to start my journey by this one.
Han Sword(Han Jian) is just a part of Chinese Arms; mainly reflects the style of Han Dynasty.
A Han sword may have 4 edges,6 edges or 8 edges.
Its length ranges from 50 cm to 140 cm.(one of sword's nickname in Chinese is"三尺",3 Chi≈100cm)
A good Han sword must be straight,with both hardness and toughness;Apart from its practicality, in ancient times waring a sword is a fashion,and encourages a valiant spirit.
According to the old legends,:刘邦Liu Bang killed a white snake monster with a red sword,then Liu became Emperor Han Gaozu,the first emperor of the Han Dynasty.that sword is known as ChiXiao赤霄剑.(just like the Sword in the Stone and King Arthur?:-D)
Patterns on Han sword can be
twisted herb pattern(卷草纹)

cloud pattern(云纹)

corn pattern(谷纹,not sure about this translation)

animal pattern(兽纹)

an 8 edges Han Sword by 正武堂

my 4 edges Han Sword photos here↓

Tang Knife(Tang Dao),actually i haven't known much about it;
according to my memory,Tang Knife is a modified Turkic Knife(and Japanese knife/Nihontou is a modified Tang knife);
two kinds of TangDao head

BTW:↓a knife used by Zhang Qiling张起灵( a character in an interesting Chinese Novel 《盗墓笔记》Notebook of Grave-robbery)

↓the 7 swords in the movie 七剑/Seven Swords directed by 徐克Tsui Hark
Current Music: 为龙
12 December 2009 @ 02:20 am
The Song dynasty went from 960 to 1279. It was devided into the Northern and the Southern Song while the Southern is a reestablishment after the Northern Song lost its control over north China to the Jin dynasty. The Southern Song moved to the south of China and made Lin'an, today's Hangzhou, their new capital. It was the first time, that the capital was moved away from central China, the birthplace of Chinese civilization, to the south.

More flower and bird paintings from Song dynasty:

北宋 佚名 王羲之像图页 left

南宋 三羊图页 right

南宋 乌桕文禽图页 left

南宋 荷塘鸂鵣图页 right

南宋 荷塘鸂鵣图页
I always found the bird paintings by Emperor Huizong to be very astonishing. That Emperors could write beautifully is well known, but still I was surprised how well some could also paint.
This post has some paintings by Emperor Huizong (1082-1135) of Song dynasty.
In fact Huizong is one of the most well known emperors, he was very skilled in the arts and lived a life in luxury, but his end was sad because he died as captive of the Jin (paralel dynasty).
You might know that Emperors have several names, Huizong's given name was Zhao Ji 赵佶.

This is a painting of the Song Huizong (not by him).

Pigeon on a Peach Branch by Emperor Huizong

Two Finches

10 July 2009 @ 09:58 pm

These are some paintings which I am not sure of by whom they were painted and if these are really from Tang dynasty.
From clothing style they sure are but there is a possibility that they are from the time of Wudai Shiguo (Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms), especially the second one.

Painting from Tang dynasty showing a court official.

Court ladies in Tang clothing.

15 May 2009 @ 11:37 am
The Tang Dynasty (618-907) marks the height of Chinese civilization and therefore called the "Golden Age of Chinese Civilization". In this period Cihinese culture flourished, especially the arts and poetry that became most well known.

Some famous paintings about Tang court and women.

Spring Outing of the Tang Court
Painting by Zhang Xuan

Court Ladies

Beauties Wearing Flowers
Painted by Zhou Fang. 8th century

Click onto the pictures for fullview.
14 May 2009 @ 09:36 pm
The Dream of the Red Chamber (Hong Lou Meng) is currently being remade as a TV drama.
Originally a novel by the author Cao Xueqing from Qing dynasty, The Dream of the Red Chamber 红楼梦 (also known as A Dream of Red Mansions or The Story of the Stone) is probably the most famous and most important work in Chinese literature. It is one of the Four Great Classical Novels that include "Journey to the West" 西游记, "Romance of the Three Kingdoms" 三国演义and "Outlaws of the March" 水浒传. The novel is of such importance and profounness that there is even a literary science about this book called Redology.

Trailer of the 2009 series "A Dream of Red Mansions"

The novel is a novel of matters, dealing with many themes such as critizising the social structure of the Qing dynasty. The story basicaly deals with the rise and fall of a powerful aristocratic family, surrounding the central characters Jia Baoyu, the only son of the family, and his relationship with his cousins Lin Daiyu and Xue Baochai.
Beside these central characters there are hundreds of other characters involved in this story, and the whole embedded in a metaphysical background.

There were several movies about this book, the most famous being the TV series from 1978 featuring probably the most famous Lin Daiyu actress.
Now in 2009 a new series with a whole new cast is coming out. I personally am totally stunned by the actors, the set and the artistic costumes and are very looking forward to this series.

Official website of the TV series (chinese): http://ent.sina.com.cn/f/v/hongloumeng/index.shtml
13 May 2009 @ 03:19 pm

Some paintings of the Jin Dynasty (265 - 439) 晋代
Both the art at that time and literature are part of the Wei Jin Nan Bei Chao style when nature became an integral part in poems.

[晋] 顾恺之 《女史箴图》

Admonitions of the Instructress to the Palace Ladies, a section of the scroll.
Painting by famous Wei Jin painter Gu Kaizhi who was a very celebrated painter in Jin period.

[晋] 顾恺之 《女史箴图》

Admonitions of the Instructress to the Palace Ladies, another part of of the scroll.

[晋] 顾恺之《列女仁智图》

Painting showing a kind and sophisticated woman and a man, also by Gu Kaizhi.
Click for fullview.
13 May 2009 @ 02:41 pm
Art from Qin (221 BC-206 BC) and Han Dynasty (206 BC - 220 AD)

There aren't many paintings from the time before Han dynasty, I will post two major works from that time. As for all pictures click onto the picture for full view.



Left: This wall painting shows a banquet from the Han dynasty. You can see noblemen sitting around tables and watching dancers and musicians. It was common to sit on the floor until Tang and Song Dynasty when chairs became popular.


Right: An Emperor shown with a Dragon. This painting is the first to show a nobleman. (I am unsure about whether this painting is from Qin or Han).
13 May 2009 @ 01:49 pm

Quick overview of Chinese Dynasties. Many of the major Dynasties include sub dynasties and families that didn't live long and which I did not include in this table.

Before the Xia dynasty there is the Three Sovereign Ones and the Five Emperors (before 2205 BC) time which has a metaphysical background.

  1. Xia Dynasty 夏 (2205 BC - 1766 BC)
  2. Shang Dynasty 商 (1766 BC - 1066 BC)
  3. Zhou Dynasty 周 (1066 BC - 221 BC) - including West Zhou 西周, East Zhou 东周, Spring-and-Autumn Period 春秋时代, Warring States Period 战国时代
  4. Qin Dynasty 秦 (221 BC - 206 BC) - Beginning of Imperial China
  5. Han Dynasty 汉 (206 BC - 220 AD) - West Han and East Han
  6. Wei Jin Nan Bei Chao (Period of six Dynasties) 魏晋南北朝 (220 - 581) - including Sanguo 三国, E + W Jin Dynasty 西晋 东晋, Southern Dynasty, Northern Dynasty 南北朝
  7. Sui Dynasty 隋 (581 - 618)
  8. Tang Dynasty 唐 (618 - 907)
  9. Wudai Shiguo - Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms 五代十国 (907 - 979)
  10. Song Dynasty 宋 (960 - 1279) Nothern and Southern Song, almost the same time Liao Dynasty 辽, Western Xia 西夏 and Jin 金
  11. Yuan Dynasty 元 (1279 - 1368)
  12. Ming Dynasty 明 (1368 - 1644)
  13. Qing Dynasty 清 (1644 - 1911)
  14. Republic of China 中华民国 (1912 - 1949)
Visit wikipedia for more detailed information abot each of the dynasties, though their timetable may differ from mine.
13 May 2009 @ 01:29 pm

Before I am posting some famous works of Chinese history I am going to recommend some books about History of Chinese art and paintings. These are in my point of view the best in English language.


Three Thousand Years of Chinese Painting
Yale University Press (2002)
416 pages

The Arts of China, Fifth Edition, Revised and Expanded
Author: Michael Sullivan
University of California Press (2009)
368 pages