The essay "Understanding of Chinese Paintings" examines he ways that written texts such as poems, inscriptions, or theoretical writings can change our understanding of Chinese paintings. The great monumental landscape Autumn Mountains at Dusk, attributed to Guan Tong, was one such an example. This work was a visual representation on one of the famous Tang poets Li Bai's poem The Road to Shu is Hard. Paintings and written texts are used together to give more meaning and interpretation to the paintings, which could otherwise be interpreted. While considering the poem above, poetry could be considered as a vocal painting while painting could be considered as visual poetry. Viewers could feel about the winding and steepness of the road to Shu. From the poem, readers could get more information. The hard road to Shu is a metaphoric representation of the hardness of engaging in politics and the turbulence faced by the Empire. These indications could not easily be noticed by just looking at the painting. Some paintings were created to take record of important events. For this kind of paintings, there usually were inscription beside to indicate the event. For example, Cranes of Good Omen attributed to Emperor Huizong. This was a handscroll of both painting and inscription on it. This was an event of 20 cranes appeared in the sky. Even two of them standing on the top of the building. Huizong recorded this kind of miracle day by himself using both inscription and painting. Readers could get the information.
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The essay discusses the ways that written texts such as poems, inscriptions, or theoretical writings can change our understanding of Chinese paintings. Poetry, calligraphy and painting were three perceptions of Chinese art history. The three were tightly related to each other…
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