Monday, October 11, 2010

Travelers Among Mountains and Streams 

Fan Kuan's Travelers Among Mountains and Streams is not only an impressive piece of art, but also an example of the Eastern mentality towards nature. This piece became a model to subsequent Chinese artists because of its presentation of nature as beautifully sublime. The landscape is the dominating factor in this painting, causing viewers to often overlook the people that are also included in this piece. That fact in itself speaks to the magnitude and captivating qualities of nature while also showing the handprint of the Taoist perspective in the creation of this piece. The figures are almost indistinguishable from the surrounding natural elements, thus achieving the goal of becoming one with nature and driving home the point that one is small and insignificant when in contest with nature. 

Fan Kuan believed in this principle heartily and spent the majority of his life as a recluse in the Shanxi Mountains. 

"Nature is the one true teacher" 

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