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The art of the Chinese scroll painting dates back at least 4,000 years.  This art form is considered by many people as the highpoint aesthetically speaking during the cultural history of China civilization.  The Chinese use special brushes and inks to create calligraphy, which are the same tools used for the scrolls. 

Typically, the designs include subjects such as animals, birds, flowers, people, landscapes, and simple calligraphy that might include inspirational words or messages.  Although wonderful and talented painters are from all over Chine, the majority come from the Zhejiang province, which is where this form of painting was born.  In fact, at the Zhejiang University, students can learn scroll paintings from very skilled painters. 

With Chinese scroll painting, the Chinese consider there to be a connection between brush and ink, and color and silk or paper.  The result of this mythology is that an unusual and very special body of work is created different from all other art forms.  The movements are often spontaneous and the lines appear to be frugal.  Interestingly, many of the great Chinese scroll painters actually began as talented calligraphers. 

Through these scroll paintings, two things are pursued one is appreciation of lyrical quality as it relates to poetry and art and the other is knowledge.  As you look at the Chinese scroll paintings on display throughout the world, you will see these two aspects in each one. 

Five rare Chinese scroll paintings can be seen at the Hartnell College Foundation where they are a permanent feature in the Hartnell Gallery.  Donated by Dr. Irving Stuart, these scroll paintings are nothing less than magnificent.  Here you will find a painting that was created with the Sumi technique, which dates back to the 17th Century.  This scroll painting features a beautiful lotus blossom and water pond.  One of the other paintings comes from the 18th Century and was painted by a Taoist priest named Tsin Hsin, depicting a wonderful pine forest, flowing waterfall, and rock cliff. 

If you get a chance to visit a display of Chinese scrolls where you live, you should take the opportunity.  You will notice that the scroll paintings appear much different in that the colors are brighter and more distinct than what you would see in photographs.


The Great Wall of China The Forbidden City
The Terracotta Army Along the Silk Road
Plum Blossoms
Pair of Brass Foo Dogs
Brass & Bronze
Inside Painted Boxes

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