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date: 23 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Calligraphy and painting have a long and rich history of association with literary composition, especially poetry. These three “arts of the brush” share not just materials and tools of production but also a critical vocabulary and certain aesthetic ideals. The pronounced attention in the early history of each art to the world of nature as a source of verbal imagery, subject matter, and even graphic design bound these arts together in the formative stage of theoretical writings about each. As the practice of these arts matured in medieval times, it became common for them to appear together in a single, composite work: a painting inscribed with a poem, written as a calligraphic display. This composite form became a hallmark of Chinese visual and literary culture. Thus even when they were used separately, the aesthetic values of the others often remained in the minds of the poet-artist and reader or viewer.

Keywords: nature, writing system, portraiture, landscape painting, poems inscribed on paintings (tihua shi)

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