"Treasured Painting and Calligraphy" takes the most important of the 70 "restricted" masterpieces of painting and calligraphy in the National Palace Museum collection as its core. They hold a very important place in the field of Chinese art history, but their viewing in any form is severely restricted to preserve them for posterity. This website uses different levels of comprehension and a sequential approach to make them easier to understand and appreciate. Hopefully, it will also lead users to admire Chinese art in general and learn about the rich heritage and cultural significance behind these individual works of art.
In this section, we have devised five themes and produced a video segment for each in order to provide different viewpoints of appreciation. A Land of Seasons is a suggested trip depicted in a landscape painting. In Discovering Animals, various animals from different periods roam about. Su Shih in Exile depicts the inner world of Su Tung-p'o while he was in exile. In The Music of Lines, the grace and beauty of calligraphy strokes and techniques are lyrically illustrated. Birth of a Painting gives a brief description of the process of how a painting ends up in a collection after its completion. Whether you prefer to engage in the exploration of a painting through the intellect or the senses, we hope you will be touched and inspired after viewing these treasured works.
Works by Category
Behind each painting and calligraphic work are profound artistic expression and cultural history. In this section, we will learn much about the history of these seventy works. The user can choose a painting of interest from the four categories of Landscapes, Figures, Animals, and Calligraphy, and begin the tour by entering the Basic Appreciation page. The user may wish to acquire more in-depth knowledge by clicking on Advanced Appreciation found at the end of each article. There is also an important link, Extended Reading, which contains information for advanced study. We hope to guide the user into the world of Chinese painting step by step.
Now, let us visit the idyllic world of painting and calligraphy!