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Romantic Views: Chinese Landscapes

January 9, 2004 - January 9, 2004

Of all the painting subjects, it is the landscape that has been most popular and has formed the nucleus of Chinese painting in the last fifteen hundred years. The Chinese gave their passionate love of painting to Nature, just as the European artists devoted themselves to portraiture and to the depiction of human figures.

Chinese landscape artists differ greatly from Western realist landscape artists. They portray an inner poetic reality rather than an outward likeness; they seek to realize rather than to copy nature. Chinese landscape artists are impressionists in that they feel free to omit objects which are not essential to their thought process. Their paintings have an underlying simplicity that is in sharp contrast to the photo-likenesses of Western paintings with their problems of volume, light, shadow and texture.

20th century Chinese painters have continued these age-old traditions while combining Western art ideas and techniques with Eastern ones. This exhibition will feature about one hundred different Chinese painters of the 20th century. Often romantic and tranquil, Chinese landscapes seem to invite the viewer to enter into the scene and cross a bridge, enjoy a walk along a path, or take a ride in a boat.

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