Chinese Paintings (Drawings)

Chinese paintings are usually done with ink on rice paper. Zen Buddhism has great influence on Chinese painting. The nature’s colours are expressed through shades of black ink monochrome. In modern times, watercolours are widely used to make the paintings more attractive.

There are usually empty spaces or voids in the composition. Western paintings always have more complicated compositions. The background of paintings are always coloured.

Vegetables have been popular subjects in Chinese painting. They are tasty, nutritious and good food for thought.

Yun Shouping 惲壽平 (Yun Nantian) (1633 – 1690) Bok Choy, 1673, ink on paper
Yun Shouping 惲壽平 (Yun Nantian) (1633 – 1690) Bok Choy, 1673, ink on paper

 

Details of the above painting
Details of the above painting

 

The inscription: 昔人云不可使士大夫一日不知此味,不可使天下人一日有此色。 壽平燈下書 Don't let scholars and officials forget the taste of these vegetables for a day. (Not to forget our roots.) Don't allow the peasants to starve for even one day, showing pale faces.
The inscription: 昔人云不可使士大夫一日不知此味,不可使天下人一日有此色。 壽平燈下書 Don’t let scholars and officials forget the taste of these vegetables for a day. (Not to forget our roots.) Don’t allow the peasants to starve for even one day, showing pale faces.

 

Anonymous, Bok choy, ink and watercolour on silk
Anonymous, Bok choy, ink and watercolour on silk

 

Anonymous, Bok choy, ink and watercolour on paper
Anonymous, Bok choy, ink and watercolour on paper

 

Shitao 石濤 (1642 – 1707), Bok choy, ink on paper
Shitao 石濤 (1642 – 1707), Bok choy, ink on paper

 

Zhāng Dà zhuàng 張大壯 (1903 – 1980), Pok choy, Egg plant and Corn on a Cob, ink and watercolour on paper
Zhāng Dà zhuàng 張大壯 (1903 – 1980), Pok choy, Egg plant and Corn on a Cob, ink and watercolour on paper

 

Wu Changshuo 吳昌碩 (1844 – 1927), Pok choy and Radish, ink and watercolour on paper
Wu Changshuo 吳昌碩 (1844 – 1927), Pok choy and Radish, ink and watercolour on paper

 

Lù Yì fēi 陸抑非 (1908 – 1997), Wombak (Napa or nappa cabbage), Bamboo Shoots, Garlics and Water Caltrop, ink and watercolour on paper
Lù Yì fēi 陸抑非 (1908 – 1997), Wombak (Napa or nappa cabbage), Bamboo Shoots, Garlics and Water Caltrop, ink and watercolour on paper

 

Lù Yì fēi 陸抑非 (1908 – 1997), White and Red Radishes and Mushrooms, ink and watercolour on paper
Lù Yì fēi 陸抑非 (1908 – 1997), White and Red Radishes and Mushrooms, ink and watercolour on paper
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Lù Yì fēi 陸抑非 (1908 – 1997), Taro and Arrowhead root, ink and watercolour on paper

 

Guō Wèiqú 郭味蕖 (1908 – 1971), Corn on Cobs, a Basket of Water Caltrop and Dried Sunflowers, ink and watercolour on paper
Guō Wèiqú 郭味蕖 (1908 – 1971), Corn on Cobs, a Basket of Water Caltrop and Dried Sunflowers, ink and watercolour on paper

 

Qi Baishi 齊白石(1864 – 1957), Corn on Two Cobs, ink and watercolour on paper
Qi Baishi 齊白石(1864 – 1957), Corn on Two Cobs, ink and watercolour on paper

Guō Wèiqú 郭味蕖 (1908 – 1971), Happy Harvest, ink and watercolour on paper
Guō Wèiqú 郭味蕖 (1908 – 1971), Happy Harvest, ink and watercolour on paper

Western Paintings

Vegetables have not been a popular subject for still life drawing or painting. Occasionally we can still find some nice examples.

Manet, Bunch of Asparagus, oil on canvas, 46 x 55 cm, Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, Cologne
Manet, Bunch of Asparagus, oil on canvas, 46 x 55 cm, Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, Cologne

 

Redon, Celery Root, oil on canvas, 24.5 x 33.2 cm, Musee D'Orsay
Redon, Celery Root, oil on canvas, 24.5 x 33.2 cm, Musee D’Orsay

 

Bibliography :

陳相鋒 陳姿娟 (2012) 画室必備 – 中國画技法圖典 蔬果篇 湖北美術出版社

Gowing, Lawrence (1987), Paintings in the Louvre, Stewart, Tabori & Chang ISBN 1-55670-007-5

Rosenblum, Robert (1989) Paintings in The Musee D’Orsay, Stewart, Tabori & Chang ISBN 1-55670-099-7

French Painting from the Hermitage, Leningrad, Mid-19th to early 20th Century (1987), Aurora Art Publishers.

 

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