> Publications > Chinese Journal of Literary Criticism > 2019 > issue 20,no.4(October 2019)

On the Duality and Aesthetic Interest of Literati Painting and Imperial-Court Painting in the Northern Song Dynasty

| 2019-12-05

Chinese Journal of Literary Criticism

No.4, 2019

 

On the Duality and Aesthetic Interest of Literati Painting and Imperial-Court Painting in the Northern Song Dynasty

(Abstract)

 

Chen Lingxiao

 

The Northern Song Dynasty witnessed a climax of the development of Chinese painting and aesthetics, and also an important transitional period. Its two outstanding characteristics were the flourishing of the imperial art academy and the rise of thought on literati painting. The imperial-court painting has the duality of “craftsman” and “imperial court,” which requires fine professional painting skills and reflects the aesthetic taste of the imperial court. The literati painting has the duality of “literati” and “scholar-official.” The core of literati painting is the literati consciousness contained in the works. However, the literati painting group belonged to the intellectual class. Under the policy which favored literature and the arts and imperial examination system of the Northern Song Dynasty, the “scholar-official” as a class attribute could not be separated from the “literati” as a skill feature. The “imperial court” nature of the imperial court painting and “scholar-official” nature of literati painting make both of them influenced by the royal ideology, and it also served as the basis of their interaction and influence. At the same time, the policy of “governing the land under heaven together with scholar-officials” in the Northern Song Dynasty made the scholar-officials have more power of speech and influence in the fields of politics and culture. The literati paintings representing the aesthetic interest of the scholar-officials gradually developed into the mainstream of traditional paintings after the Song and Yuan Dynasties.