Far East Painting – Hua Niao – A Chinese Ancient Painting Style

Hua Niao – The Concept

Chinese Bird-and-Flower Painting, known as Hua Niao, is a kind of painting named after its themes that cover flowers, birds, insects, and fish. The artists have the leeway to understand flowers as plants, and to include pets in their artworks.

The History

Hua Niao Painting existed since quite early Chinese eras. It graced bronze vessels, potteries, and phoenix work of arts on silk, during the Warring States Period (7th-4th centuries B.C.). The images presented corroborate that ancient Chinese flowers and birds were the favorite topics of the Hua Niao artists. Simple and plain initially, this Chinese Painting style ultimately graduated to a mature and meaningful art form, with the help of developed schools, techniques, and well-established theoretical background. Hua Niao works became an absolute study of art by the Tang Dynasty (618-907), growing until the end of Five Dynasties Period (907-60).

The Details

In pre-Tang and Tang Dynasty, emotions, moods, feelings, and the temperament of the human figures were the identifying features of the Bird and Flower Painting. The characters rarely looked at each other. The ‘flowers’ they held, the ‘trees’ they sat near to, or the ‘birds’ flying around them, would symbolize the relationship existing between them. This symbolic representation of human feelings was an important turning point in the history of Chinese Art. Soon, Hua Niao became an independent Fine Art form during the mid and late Tang Dynasty.

The Varieties

– Ink and Wash Painting

– Fine Brush Painting

– Fine Brush with Ink and Wash Painting

– Fine Brush with Heavy Color

– Fine Brush with Light Color

– Fine Brush with Freehand Style

– Freehand Style

– Great Freehand Style

– Slight Freehand Style

The Artists

Many famous artists emerged during 618-960, with Huang Quan and Xu Xi being the representative names among them. Quan Huang was a court painter and his paintings focused on scarce flowers and birds in the court. His depictions were lively and looked complete-fledged luxurious and beautiful. ‘Sketch of scarce Bird Scroll,’ portraying many kinds of birds, was a masterpiece by Huang.

Artist Xu Xi also belonged to the same dynasties and was not involved in any kind of politics. Xu used ink for his artworks. Thick strokes, wild themes, and branches & leaves were a associate of meaningful features of his paintings. Xu would use a small amount of colors to avid any impairment to the ink. ‘Snow Covers Bamboo’ was one of the rare works by Xu Xi.

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