Bird-and-flower painting is a kind of Chinese painting named after its subject matter. Normally, most bird-and-flower paintings belong to the scholar-artist style of Chinese painting.
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According to Chinese tradition, bird-and-flower painting covers "flowers, birds, fish, and insects" (Traditional Chinese: 花鳥魚蟲, Simplified Chinese: 花鸟鱼虫 huā, niǎo, yú, chóng). It can thus deal with a wide range of natural topics, including flowers (plants), fish, insects, birds, pets (dogs, cats) etc.
The huaniao hua (花鳥畫) or "bird-and-flower painting" is proper of 10th century China. The most representative artists are Huang Quan 哳㥳 (ca. 900 – 965) and Xu Xi 徐熙 (937–975). They are the masters of two schools: the first school was led by Huang Quan (imperial painter). It is characterised by an “outline” method of brush work, with emphasis on bright colours filling a meticulously outline (gongbi). The other school was led by Xu Xi (never entered into officialdom) and typically used techniques associated with ink-and-wash painting.
The bird-and-flower motif started appearing in Japanese art around the Muromachi period of the 14th century, and developed its own distinct style. It also entered ukiyo-e woodblock printing, where it was known as kachō-e (花鳥絵). Especially the shin hanga movement produced a number of works with this motif starting in the Meiji era. Artists working with this were Ohara Koson (1877–1945) and Ito Sozan (1884–?), as well as Imao Keinen (1845–1924).
According to painting technique:
- Ink wash painting (水墨花鳥/水墨花鳥畫). Representatives: Lin Liang (林良), Qi Baishi (齊白石), Zhang Daqian (張大千)
- Fine-brush (工筆花鳥/工筆花鳥畫)
- Freehand style (寫意花鳥/寫意花鳥畫)
- Fine-brush with Freehand style (兼工帶寫)
- "Early Autumn (29.1)". Detroit Institute of Arts. Archived from the original on 2008-10-02. Retrieved 2008-12-18.
- Marco, Meccarelli. 2015. "Chinese Painters in Nagasaki: Style and Artistic Contaminatio during the Tokugawa Period (1603–1868)" Ming Qing Studies 2015, Pages 175–236.