Jonathan Hay 石濤－清初中國的繪畫與現代性 / 石濤 (楊成寅)/ 程抱一《石濤：生命的...
1949 年 3 月 7 日為呂平得*君題(石濤畫冊)。石濤自題云,「不識乾坤老，青青天外山。」可見遺民不肯拋棄希望的心事。
April 23, 2010
Mrs. W. H. Moore 中國畫精品展
( The Chinese and Japanese collections were built initially through the gifts and bequest of Mrs. William H. Moore. The greatest strengths of the Chinese collections lie in ceramics and painting. These include a special group of vessels from the Changsha region of Hunan Province, spanning ca. 500 B.C.E. to C.E. 1000, assembled for the most part by John Hadley Cox, B.A. 1935. Chinese paintings range from the Tang dynasty (618–907) through the twentieth century. There are also fine examples of work from the seventeenth century and, with recent gifts of over one hundred nineteenth- and twentieth-century paintings, in the modern and contemporary periods as well. )
Hu Shih (1891-1962), a social activist, Chinese philosopher, educator, and diplomat, was probably the most active one among all his peers in China. Here I tried to draw a sketch of a part of what he did in the intelligentsia:
His Ph. D research at Columbia University under the influence of John Dewey's pragmatism, The development of the Logical Method in Ancient China (published in 1922), soon led him into frontiers of the Chinese Renaissance movement. Some of the speeches he delivered in English speaking academe are: on 11th November 1926 in University of Cambridge: Has China Remained Stationary During the Last Thousand Years; in Haskell Lectures at University of Chicago in July 1933: The Chinese Renaissance; in the School of Art of Yale University on 16th January 1941: A Historian Looks at Chinese Painting; in Univ. of Illinois on 12th March 1941: Historical Foundation for a Democratic China; in Radcliffe Club of Washington on 23th March 1941: China, too, is Fighting to Defend a Way of Life; in October 1942: Chinese Thought; in University of Hawaii in July 1959: The Scientific Spirit and Method in Chinese Philosophy; on 10th July 1960: The Chinese Tradition and the Future; on 16th November 1961: Social Changes and Science.
Hu Shih (1891-1962), Chinese philosopher, educator, and diplomat, was born in Shanghai. He received a Ph.D in philosophy from Columbia University in 1917. Influenced by John Dewey's pragmatism, he came to exhibit the skepticism and experimentalist approach that marked his later intellectual activities.
Returning to China in 1917, he joined the Peking University faculty and took part in the "literary renaissance" and new culture movement then in progress. Over the next 20 years, as an educator and editor, he was noted for his vernacular style, moderate political views, and original scholarship. He was ambassador to the United States in 1938-1942 and chancellor of Peking University in 1946-1949. Thereafter he lived in semiretirement in the United States until 1958, when he became president of The Academia Sinica in Taiwan. He died in Taipei on Feb. 24, 1962.
- From Encyclopedia Americana, international edition of 1991: page 518, volume 14, by Harry J. Lamley, University of Hawaii.
Dr. Hu delivered the following speech at the School of Art of Yale University on January 16, 1941.
A Historian Looks at Chinese Painting
I know practically nothing of Chinese art in general and Chinese painting in particular. But I have a notion that Chinese art might be studied as an integral part of the history of Chinese culture. In particular, I am curious to find out whether I could apply to the study of Chinese art certain general conclusions which I have found useful in my researches in the history of Chinese literature.
Every new development in Chinese literature can be traced in a cycle of four stages: every new form has its origin among the common people; it achieves great vitality through the bold and free experimentation and revision by numberless, nameless artists of the people; it attains maturity only when master minds of the educated class are attracted to adopt the new form as their own and give it a depth in content and perfection in form; and, finally, it reaches the stage of decadence when it becomes the object of blind imitation and conservative solidification.
The Chinese novel, for example, undoubtedly had its origin in the popular tales and recitals of the street and the market place. Eventually, gifted writers of the scholarly class, attracted by the great tales of unknown authors, retouched them and made them the masterpieces which have remained best-sellers for centuries. Then came a period, from the seventeenth century down, when Chinese novelists produced great novels of their own, novels of political satire, family life and social problems. The Chinese novel has not yet reached its stage of decadence.
The history of Chinese drama is even more instructive. The drama was for a long time a form of popular entertainment. The first actors were men and women of lowliest social standing. Then came the period of Mongol conquest, first of North China, then of South China, during which Chinese scholars with classical training often had no legitimate channel for civic advancement. Some of these scholars condescended to retouch plays or write original plays for the popular stage. These were usually in four or five acts written to meet the requirements of time and space for such entertainment. Because of the adoption of this popular literary form by some of the foremost writers of the age, the best dramas of the Yuan period can be ranked among the great masterpieces of the world. In later periods many literary men wrote poetic dramas but, dissociated from the players and directors of the popular stage, they were no longer writing dramas for production: they were writing interminable narrative verses in a dead language. The age of great dramas had passed. During the past two centuries various local types of popular dramas have been developed but none of these has been accepted by men of letters. Consequently, the popular stage of the past two hundred years has produced no drama of literary worth.
One of the questions which often puzzles the student of the history of Chinese art is: Why has China been deficient in certain arts while she excels in others? Why, for example, has China never achieved a higher level of development in architecture and in music? Why of all the plastic and graphic arts has China been most successful in painting? And why in the field of painting has China developed landscape farther than any other branches of painting?
Questions like these do not present serious difficulties to us students of the history of Chinese literature. China is deficient in those arts which have remained throughout the centuries in the hands of uneducated artisans and which have not had the illuminating touch of men of advanced education, rich experience and refined taste, as well as native artistic genius. Architecture and music are the two outstanding examples of uneducated art in China.
All ancient schools of Chinese thought unanimously condemned extravagant public expenditure on architectural grandeur. They praised the primitive rustic simplicity of the houses wherein the legendary sage-rulers were supposed to have lived and they taught that rulers lavishing the taxpayers' money on "high roofs and carved walls" were destined to ruin their kingdoms by their extravagance. This almost universal condemnation was temporarily swept away during the long period of domination of Buddhism and later of Taoism. In the medieval period, wealthy and influential followers of both religions vied with one another in the building of temples and monasteries. The splendor and grandeur of Buddhist temples and monasteries were described in detail in Yang Hsuan-chilh's "Lo-Yang-Chia-Lan-Ki" (the Buddhist Temples and Monasteries of Lo-Yang) which was completed in 547 A.D. and which was one of the very few Chinese books that expressed almost unreserved praise for the architectural beauty of Buddhist places of worship and meditation.
Orthodox Chinese Confucianist thought, however, continued to censure vast expenditures on either imperial palaces or religious edifices. Because of this strong prejudice on the part of the scholarly class, China has produced no great architect of the scientific and creative type. There has been no serious woks on architecture by Chinese scholars. Even the famous Ying-Tsao-Fa-Shih of Li Ming-chung was merely a great compilation of the existing architectural forms and devices, but it was not an original contribution. It was only in recent centuries that a few artistic minds of the scholarly class took some interest in landscape gardening. But, on the whole, architecture, the art least influenced by the educated class, has progressed little beyond the traditional empirical craft of the practicing carpenter and mason.
The same reason can explain the backwardness of Chinese music and sculpture. Those of us who are familiar with the great emphasis which Confucius and his early followers laid on music often cannot understand how this art failed to attain a higher level of development in subsequent ages. My own explanation is that the exaltation of music and dance by the early Confucianist school was overshadowed by two counterforces: the religious school of Mo Ti, which condemned all fine arts as useless extravagance; and the naturalistic teachings of Lao-tze, Chuang-tze and other Taoistic philosophers, who condemned music and the other fine arts as the distracting devices of an artificial civilization. Moreover, as the educated class over-emphasized bookish knowledge and purely literary pursuits, music came to be regarded no longer as an important part of the education of a gentleman but only as the art of the professional entertainer. The government and the orthodoxy of Confucianism continued religiously to preserve the most ancient musical instruments, which were to be played once a year in the temple of Confucius. Nobody knew nor cared to know how they were played or what they played. And all modern music and all modern musical instruments were sweepingly despised as vulgar and improper.
All these arts came from the people, reaching a certain level of development and then ceased to grow. But, whenever men of education and refined taste could overcome prejudice and actively take up any one of those arts, their participation often produced periods of marked progress. Such was the case of the development in landscape gardening during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, of religious sculpture and modeling during certain periods of medieval China and of musical revival and its effect on the operatic dramas in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
The development of porcelain is even more strikingly illustrative. Every period of great progress in Chinese porcelain has been the result of active participation by cultivated artists under imperial patronage. The Ming porcelain was essentially the product of unlettered workers who had a primitive delight in the loud colors and vulgar designs. But the masterpieces of the early Ts'ing period were the result of refined taste, artistic design and careful study and experimentation by the best artistic talent which the wealth and power of the empire could command. When that imperial patronage and supervision declined, Chinese porcelain was again relegated to the level of a commercial craft.
It has been said that painting is the preeminent art of China. The historical fact is that painting happens to be the art preeminently suited to the life and training of the Chinese scholar and man of letters. Chinese painting requires the same skill and mastery in the wielding of the brush which the Chinese scholar must acquire in learning to write well. In fact, writing is almost the only occupation in which even the most bookish scholar must use his hands. This is the main reason, I think, why calligraphy and painting are the only two fine arts which the scholarly class in China has taken up and developed to such heights.
Yet it must have been a long time before the Chinese scholar discovered that his writing brush was essentially the same as the coarse brush of the house-painter and that the skill he had acquired in the art of writing was the best preparation and training for painting. Historically it actually took many centuries for the Chinese scholar to be sufficiently interested in the art of painting to make it his own. For, whereas calligraphy had long become an essential part of the scholar's life, painting in ancient China was still regarded as the work of the hired artisan. Even the portrait painter was a craftsman of no social standing. The following episode in the life of the great artist-statesman Yen Lipeng shows that, even as late as the seventh century, the term "painter" (hua shih, or "master of painting") was still distasteful and distressing to a scholar:
One day, when the Emperor (Tai-Chung) had a boating party on the Palace Lake, his attention was attracted by a group of beautiful birds alighting and floating on the water. He told his guests to write poems to celebrate the occasion and sent for the artist Yen Li-peng to paint the birds in color. The court couriers shouted the Emperor's order in relay: "Call the Painter [hua shil] Yen Li-peng!"
Yen, who was then already an official of some rank, hurried to the Palace, knelt by the lake shore, mixed his dyes and began to paint the birds. When he looked up and saw his colleagues sitting in the Emperor's boat, he felt ashamed of himself and his art.
When Yen returned to his home, he said to his sons, "I have pursued the scholarly life ever since my boyhood. But I am now appreciated only through my paintings and am treated on the same level as the servants and hired laborers. I went you never to learn my art!"
Historically, painting came to be adopted by the men of letters through two channels: religion and literature.
The almost national conversion to Buddhism after the third century A.D. brought into being a vast number of Buddhist temples and monasteries which were invariably filled with mural paintings depicting episodes in the life of Buddha, or stories from the sutras. Most of the pictures were painted by professional decorators. But because these episodes were taken from the Buddhist scriptures, scholarship was necessary to understand and interpret them. As the new religion reached the best families of the nation, the influence of the Buddhist laity was gradually felt in the improvement or refinement of both the literature and the art of Chinese Buddhism. Talented and learned artists of high standing were invited or voluntarily offered to undertake the religious murals for the great temples and monasteries which were intended as an effective means of education for the people. Stories were told of such mural paintings by Ku Kai-chih of the fourth century A.D., Chang Seng-yu of the sixth century, Wu Tao-tze of the eighth and others.
In addition to the influence of religion, there were taking place in this formative age of Chinese art, philosophical and literary movements which also played no mean part of in the development of Chinese painting. The prevailing school of Chinese thought during the third, fourth and fifth centuries were philosophical naturalism, vaguelly called "Taoism". It was in terms of this philosophical naturalism that Buddhist philosophical concepts and ideas were made intelligible to the Chinese student. This naturalistic philosophy, however, had no interest either in the extravagant architectural splendor and grandeur of the Buddhist temples or in the gaudy or horrifying pictorial representations of the bliss of paradise or the horror of hell. It was making itself felt in the rise of a new school of poetry in the fifth century, which was called the poetry of "Shan Shui" (mountains and water). The leading representatives of this new poetry were Tao Chien (d.427) These poets were writing of what they had seen and felt in the flowing streams, the singing waterfalls, the mist, the snow, the rugged rocks and the fallen leaves. It was from this school of poetry that Chinese landscape painting derived its name "Shan Shui".
Buddhism underwent fundamental and radical transformation after the eighth century when the Ch'an or Zen movement sought to sweep away all the formalism, verbalism and ritualism of Mahayana Buddhism by its esoteric and frankly iconoclastic philosophy. Much of the imagery and ritualism of earlier Buddhism survived. But they no longer attracted the great painters. The age of religious painting had passed. Religious fervor and the demand for religious paintings awakened the interest of the scholarly class in painting, but, even at the height of the medieval religions, Chinese artists were already broadening the scope of painting by devoting more and more attention to such secular objects as landscapes, human portraits, animals and still life.
The existing works of the poets and prose writers of the T'ang Dynasty furnish us with much material for our understanding of the history of Chinese painting during that most important period. The poetry of Wang Wei, for example, gives us the best evidence of the intimate connection between the "Shan Shui" poetry and the "Shan Shui" painting. "There is poetry in his painting, and there is painting in his poetry." This verdict of the critics best sums up the spirit and ideal of the landscape school both in poetry and in painting.
But the T'ang records also show us that the painting of that age was essentially realistic in its discipline and technique, and still far away from the impressionistic and poetic art of later periods. Tu Fu, who died in 770, described his artist friend Wang's "Shan Shui" painting in these lines:
"It takes him ten days to paint a stream,
And five days to draw a rock.
He refused to be pressed or hurried.
Only in this way will he consent to give us his realistic
In his famous ode to General Tsao Pa, To Fu tells us that this great painter who retouched the imperial series of portraits of the founders of the impire was a most painstaking painter of horses and was the teacher of Han Kan, another great painter of horses. In the same poem, we were told that general Tao Pa was fond of making portraits of the people he met and liked, and that, during the war-stricken years in the middle of the eighth century, he even condescended to sketch the faces of the ordinary men of the street. A later poet (Su Shih, his literary name Su Tungp'o) quotes Han Kan as saying that his real teachers were the hundreds of horses in the imperial stables. It was this realism (shieh chen) in depicting secular, natural and living subjects which laid the foundation for the development of the freer school of painting in a later age.
蘇軾 "論畫以形似 見與兒童鄰" (1941/1/17 日記 Dean Merks " How Modern!")
With the decline of the medieval religions, with the development of the great schools of Zen Buddhism and with the revival and spread of secular learning through the invention of the printed book, the Chinese renaissance was entering its period of maturity during the Northern and Southern Sung dynasties. It was during this period that the Imperial Academy of Court Painters was founded first in the North and then in the South. And it was during the same period that Chinese "literary men's painting" first achieved its highest development in the hands of such great geniuses such as Su Shih, Mi Fei and Wen Tung. For the first time, color was consciously abandoned in favor of the black and white sketches, and realistic delineation of the object was consciously considered secondary to the impressionistic grasp and expression of the idea and the spirit. It was Su Shih (1036-1101) who gives us this famous dictum:
"To judge a painting by the standard of bodily likeness,
Is as naive as the thinking of a child."
How far has Chinese painting broken away from the realistic art of the house decorator and even from Hsieh Ho's six cannons!
This does not mean that the impressionistic artists did not have to go through the necessary discipline of a realistic portrayal of objects. On the contrary, the great painters since the time of Su Shih have always been great craftsmen, masterly wielders of the brush and careful students of the anatomy of objects. But they have sought to achieve more by transcending mere bodily likeness, by eliminating what they consider as nonessential, and by concentrating or even exaggerating, what they endeavor to express. As an early nineteenth century painter of bamboo has expressed it:
"The Bamboo are my teachers,
I do not imitate the old masters.
When the hand, the eye and the mind arrive together,
There under the brush the spirit is expressed."
The above account practically amounts to a defense of the preeminence of the "literary men's painting", which years ago certain art critics both in America and in Japan tried to discredit and even condemn. I have tried to show that Chinese painting has followed a historical development quite similar to that of many movements in the history of Chinese literature. The moral of this historical lesson has been that, while the art had its origin in professional artisans and craftsmen, it has achieved the greatest altitude and depth only when it has become the medium of expression of the thought and experience of the greatest cultivated minds of the times. The achievement of Chinese painting has been possible only because it embodies the best contribution of the best minds of the nation throughout the ages.
But the moral does not stop there. In Chinese painting, as in every phrase of Chinese literature, decadence sets in when free and creative experimentation gives way to slavish imitation and conservative solidification. Too much of Chinese painting was the product of unintelligent imitation by dilettantes or commercialized craftsmen. In every period of such complacent decadence, it was always the creative or "eccentric" artists, such as the Prince-monks of the seventeenth century or the "cranky" artists of Yangchow in the eighteenth century, who startled the art world with their bold creations and brought Chinese painting once more out of its slumbers of complacency and commonplace. Without these creative minds, Chinese painting could not have achieved its many renaissances.