Chinese landscape painting is a typical branch of Chinese painting with a long history. Its characters alter according to the change of the time. Each stage forms a new feature. It is generally known that Chinese painting is different from western painting in many aspects. As Chinese, we are proud of it and are eager to popularize it to the whole world. To appreciate Chinese painting is not as simple as we think, it requires much imagination and special techniques. One of the most famous Chinese landscape painting is Riverside Scene at Qingming Festival. And why it is so famous? Let’s take a closer look at it.
Now at first, let’s have a general understanding of Chinese landscape painting. Chinese landscape painting is a kind of painting that depicts the nature. It goes back to ancient China when people began to notice the special meaning of the nature. The awareness of nature has prompted the formation of a rational and all-encompassing view. What’s more important, people started to realize its symbolic meaning. Being regarded as the highest form of Chinese painting, Chinese landscape painting equipped with two kinds of scenes and techniques. This is embodied in using strong black lines and sharp brushstrokes to describe rough stone of mountains in the north and using softer brushwork to paint the rolling hills and rivers in the south.
Landscape Painting at the beginning features in monochromatic and sparse landscape to show their emotions or a kind of atmosphere so as to match the "rhythm" of nature rather than to reappear exactly the sketch of nature. And then as the time goes, landscape painting became an independent genre of Chinese painting. Artists painted the pictures only to escape their real life by communicating with nature. The concept of withdrawal into the natural world became a major topic of artists. Painting was no longer about the description of the real world; it became a means of conveying the inner landscape of the artist's heart and mind.
Riverside Scene at Qingming Festival was a famous painting made by the artist called Zhang Zeduan It is displayed in the Palace Museum in Beijing at the moment. Even it was created hundreds of years ago, numerous imitations has appeared due to the success of Riverside Scene at Qingming Festival. On the other hand, this can prove the value of this precious artwork to a higher degree. The version of Riverside Scene at Qingming Festival is a five-meter-long horizontal scroll. This is what the magic and the secret of the painting lies. Because when we open the painting from left to right, it is like a river flowing before the viewer. We can’t help admiring such prosperous scenery.
The difference between western painting and Chinese painting lies in many aspects. For example, nature is the protagonist in Chinese painting while he man-made environment the main role in western painting. Moreover, it requires much more imagination to view and appreciate Chinese painting than that of western painting. To view and appreciate Riverside Scene at Qingming Festival can not lack of imagination.
The painting describes the hustle and bustle along the banks of the Bianhe River during the Qingming Festival. On this day, people are celebrating the coming spring and are busying doing something according to the traditional custom. The scenery in this picture is clear to us. The sun rises with warm light; the wind is gentle; the grass turns green. All of this shows the outline of the spring in Bianliang city. If we view this painting more carefully, we will find boundless fields standing in hazy mist partly hidden and partly visible. There are also groups of people walking on the street. As the scroll unrolls, the Bianhe River suddenly appear with boats busily coming and going constantly, Riverside Scene at Qingming Festival effectively reflects the prosperity of the time in China. We can make full use of our imagination to reproduce the scene.
The essence of Chinese painting lies in the mood that the artists attached to the artwork. If a painting can fully reflect the thoughts and feelings of the artists and produce a moving picture for the viewers, then it is successful. We should enhance all aspects of self-cultivation and possess the ability of appreciate the beauty of Chinese painting.