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Chinese Genre Painting

Genre painting is one of important subjects of figure painting that usually takes folks’ daily life as its content. As a distinctive form of Chinese paintings, genre painting is extraordinarily close to the life of the mind of masses as well as aesthetical needs for it grows out of folk art.

Genre painting in the true sense of the term dates from Jin Dynasty (also known as Liang Jin (兩晉 lit, two Jin) and Sima Jin by scholars, lasting between the years 265 and 420 AD). But from Jin Dynasty to Five Dynasties, genre painting was not that common. In Song Dynasty, for its advanced economy especially the prosperity of industry and commerce and boom town, civic culture came in. As a result of that, not only the range of subject of figure painting expanded to a much greater degree, but also the technique of figure painting improved compared with Tang Dynasty and Five Dynasties. In the meantime, the general public had strong consumer demand and spending power on genre painting which pay more attention to their day-to-day life. Thus, genre painting became the most representative part of figure painting of worldly Song Dynasty.



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