Tung Ch'i-ch'ang

Tung Ch'i-ch'ang

(do͞ong chē-chäng), 1555–1636, leading painter, calligrapher, connoisseur, and critic of the Ming dynasty. A high official in various public offices, was also regarded as the greatest art expert of his day. He was the leader of the group that formulated basic principles of the so-called wên-jên or literati school of painting, which exerted a lasting influence on Chinese and Japanese painting and aesthetics. In his landscape paintings, executed mostly in ink with occasional touches of color, painting and calligraphy were joined harmoniously. Examples of his works may be seen at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Metropolitan Museum, New York, and the Cleveland Museum, Ohio.

Bibliography

See W. Ho and J. Smith, ed., The Century of Tung Ch'i-ch'ang, 1555–1636 (2 vol., 1992).

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His style was based on study of a canonical roster of literati masters certified in the late Ming period by the imperious artist-critic Tung Ch'i-ch'ang and followed by painters of the "Orthodox School" during the early Ch'ing dynasty.
The distinction between the art of scholar-amateurs and that of professional masters was never as stark as Tung Ch'i-ch'ang and allied literati critics would have us believe, but the cultural and social force of this rhetoric was remarkably powerful Huang Shen's mother, from a humble background herself, is said to have lamented the financial necessity that drove her son to be come a painter.