Herding Horses, Han Geng. 8th c. Tang Dynasty, National Palace Museum of Taiwan. Digitally retouched photograph, ink on silk. 

One of the most important artists working during this period was Han Kan (sic), considered to have been the supreme painter of horses. These animals were tremendously admired in China, and they were the subject of countless stories and fables extolling them as free, proud, noble creatures. A symbol of wealth and luxury, the Emperor Ming Huang— admirer of poets, painters, and beautiful women, and a keen lover of horses— had over forty thousand thoroughbreds in his stable. 

When Han Kan was called to the Court, about the middle of the 8th century, the emperor advised him to study the painting of horses under Chi’en Hung, a contemporary Court painter. Han Kan ignored the suggestion, which was the equivalent to a command. When the emperor scolded him, he replied: “I have been learning how to paint horses, and every one of the horses in the Imperial Stables has been my teacher.”

His fame increased with the passage of time so that a later critic wrote: “When Han Kan painted horses, he was truly a horse.” This was the supreme compliment, as it meant that the artist had achieved such full identification that he was able to transmit the inner spirit of the horse.”

Chinese Art, Judith and Arthur Hart Burling, 1953.  

  1. nomadsinmiddleages reblogged this from leradr
  2. boujdour reblogged this from old-glory
  3. old-glory reblogged this from leradr
  4. icouldbeanything-raven reblogged this from leradr
  5. leradr reblogged this from asianhistory
  6. asmereth reblogged this from joachimmurat
  7. metalmurmaid reblogged this from joachimmurat
  8. joachimmurat reblogged this from octoberchan
  9. octoberchan reblogged this from asianhistory
  10. baghdadbarbie reblogged this from asianhistory
  11. receptacle reblogged this from konguloarkonan
  12. konguloarkonan reblogged this from beatonna
  13. en-shaedn reblogged this from ravingcelt009
  14. ravingcelt009 reblogged this from asianhistory
  15. anawakas reblogged this from iamasf
  16. iamasf reblogged this from just-asian-art
  17. lovesuperx reblogged this from asianhistory
  18. haectemporasunt reblogged this from beatonna
  19. fastestcatalive reblogged this from beatonna
  20. nutellashoes reblogged this from beatonna
  21. dreadiron reblogged this from jonilover
  22. jonilover reblogged this from nothing-but-vices
  23. queen-of-dragons reblogged this from asianhistory
  24. boxoftar reblogged this from nothing-but-vices
  25. bibliomaniac reblogged this from nothing-but-vices
blog comments powered by Disqus