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The Communication of Literature and Painting & Calligraphy Criticism in Weijin and the Northern & Southern Dynasties

Author: ZhangKeFeng
Tutor: ZhaoZuoFu
School: Northwest Normal University
Course: Ancient Chinese Literature
Keywords: Wei Literary Theory Painting and Calligraphy On Blend Will pass Meaning Situation Bone Form and spirit Natural Korea Odd Push source upstream Products first And Imagery General description of
CLC: I206.2
Type: PhD thesis
Year: 2007
Downloads: 794
Quote: 5
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The paper has three parts,and the first part illustrates a particular phenomenon that the writers were good at painting & calligraphy in Weijin and the Northern & Southern dynasties,which resulted in the mixture of literature and painting & calligraphy.The second and third parts explore the categorical and methodological communication in literature criticism and painting & calligraphy criticism respectively.The literator began to take up painting & calligraphy consciously in Eastern Han dynasty and it became popular in Weijin and the Northern & Southern dynasties,so the communication between literary works and painting & calligraphy was possible,i.e.the appearance of literary works that chanted painting & calligraphy and paintings with poems on it,and artists also wrote or drew according to literary works.So the similar theme was adopted by both literator and artists as their expressing subject.All these revealed a fact that literature,painting and calligraphy communicated and mingled harmoniously.The mixture and communication displayed themselves both in categories and criticism,that is,Yi (意),Shi(势),Gu(骨),Xing(形),Shen(神),Ziran(自然),Li(丽)and Qi(奇) in categories and tracing the source,rank-judging,analogy and generalization in criticism.Yi(意)denoted the aesthetic subject’s psychological state and the content of the works. The former included the subject’s consciousness,affection,interest and mental state while the later referred to main idea,implication and purpose of the works.Both literature and painting & calligraphy in Weijin and the Northern & Southern dynasties paid much attention to the importance of Yi(意)and the complaint of not hitting the nail on the head was very common to all creators who pursued wonderful,profound and abnormal implication.The exaltation of Yi(意)in painting & calligraphy,though it was a little simpler compared with the literary theories and criticism,laid theoretical foundation to communication of literature and painting & calligraphy,and also paved the way for the pursuit of connotation in Tang and Song dynastyShi(势)one of the important concepts during Qin and Han era,meant dynamic power revealed in the form of handwriting and painting.But in literature criticism of this period,it referred to not only the dynamic inclination in structure organization but also the stylistic inclination of the whole article.Shi(势)was a little similar with style but not the same,and it was the dynamic power that mainly formed the converging point of literature and painting & calligraphic criticism.Gu(骨)implied strength,which originated from physiognomy in Qin and Han dynasty and character-judgment in Weijin dynasty,and denoted vigorous stroke in calligraphy and vivid depicture in figure-painting.The person who advocated the connection between physiognomy and stroke was Xiehe and he affirmed the significance of powerful stroke.In literature criticism,skeleton indicated dynamics of language,vigor of style disclosed from general structure.Just like style,skeleton was used to express an effect of appealing, encouragement and instruction that the subject wanted to show.So we can find easily that Gu(骨)was the common pursuit of the writers and artists in Weijin and the Northern & Southern dynasties.Xing(形)and Shen(神)occupied a significant position in ancient Chinese philosophy and became one category of literature criticism since the popularity of figure-comment in Weijin era.Xing(形)denoted the outer appearance of an object while Shen(神)meant a person’s inner consciousness which were always mysterious,marvelous and extraordinary. The relationship between Xing(形)and Shen(神)was firstly concerned and discussed by the artists of painting who affirmed that the figure-painting should express the figure’s spiritual state by delicate description of the outer appearance,while the landscape painting was expected to reveal the romantic charm of mountain and water.Furthermore,painting was believed to have the function of entertaining the appreciator.Similarly,the calligraphy criticism paid attention to both Xing(形)and Shen(神)but failed to mingle them together. Whereas in literature criticism of this period,the spiritual marvelous of literary works was regarded as the highest aesthetic realm,which was also the final pursuit of painting & calligraphy.Ziran(自然)was the original state of all creatures in the world and it became writing style due to the prevailing custom of forthright and sincere in Weijin philosophy and metaphysics.Literary critics exalted natural style in concept composing,structure forming and word choosing,and they also argued that the writer’s innate gift overwhelmed his acquired practice.Natural was the opposite of skillful in calligraphy critic’s mind that permitted the enjoyment of free stroke without any restraint,while painting critic believed that the lines of drawing should fit the natural law with no artificial marks.So we can see that both literature and painting & calligraphy criticism emphasize the natural style in creation.Li(丽)was the product of luxury aesthetic habit since Han dynasty,which advocated the flowery language,elegant structure and splendid style in literature creation.It also reflected in calligraphy criticism that demanded fluent stroke,smart line and colorful form that could enjoy the appreciator.In painting criticism,however,Li(丽)was an aesthetic term only in figure painting that concerned not only the aesthetic feeling revealed from the general appearance of the figure but also from details.In short,Li(丽)seeking was the purpose of all aesthetic activities,but the opinions that golden mean was the perfect realm of beauty and beauty was the disclosure of temperament existed only in literature criticism and were not concerned in painting & calligraphic criticism.Qi(奇)a term of philosophy and art of war,was borrowed to express a bold use of writing skills in order to arrive at a prominent and extraordinary rhetoric effect,which was affirmed as the literature creation rule in Wenxindiaolong and Shipin by discussing the relationship between "normal" and "abnormal" and putting forward a creating rule of pursing Qi(奇)based on the law of normality.In painting & calligraphy criticism,Qi(奇) indicated the surprising stroke,but the way of reaching Qi(奇)in stroke,color,structure and presentation and how to deal with the relationship between normality and abnormality was not involved.Source-tracing Criticism was one branch of criticisms that comment writer or artist with historical viewpoint,and it was the main stream criticism in Weijin and the Northern & Southern dynasties whose advantage was that the works’ value and achievement could be understood easily but lacking logical demonstration and concrete analysis.Rank-judging criticism preferred getting all the writers,artists and their works together and made comparison,then put them in order according to the critic’s particular measuring standard,which was represented by Shipin,Huapin,Continuation of Huapin and Shupin after Liang dynasty.All these ranks judgment affected each other and were necessary to literary and art criticism though getting less agreement because of the critic’s subjective or even biased judging standard.Nevertheless,rank-judging criticism,matured in Weijin and the Northern & Southern dynasties,had great significance in the field of literature and painting & calligraphic criticism.Analogy criticism appeared by the end of Han dynasty and became popular in Weijin and the Northern & Southern dynasties.It was the result of analogical thinking mode of that time and influenced by analogical comment style in figure ranking.Analogy criticism valued the wholesome and immediate impression of the works and it was believed that a good analogy made clear the main character and impressed readers profoundly,but the appearance of partial and vague ideas were also possible and readers were still expected to have higher literary accomplishmentGeneralization criticism was one criticism branch in which the critic was good at summarizing his general and immediate reflections and feelings towards works.As earlier as in Qin and Han dynasties,the criticism had been adopted to comment figures and poems, and it was broadly used to appreciate creator’s style,works’ style and the overall style of one special epoch.The characters of generalization criticism could be concluded as follows, clarity,vividness and imagination -encouragement,still it was sometimes too general with no definite rule.

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