Zhang Zeduan and other painters during Northern Song Dynasty

Along the River During Qing Ming Festival(Qing Ming Shang He Tu 清明上河图) is a famous painting in Chinese history. The painter of this painting named Zhang Zeduan. This essay is mainly talk about Zhang Zeduan and other famous painter during the Northern Song dynasty.

Zhang Zeduan was one of the most influential masters of painting in China. even contemporary critics and North Song government had given a high evaluation of this painting. Zhang Zeduan was coming from Shandong province (North province near the capital Beijing) and he was the Han nationality and hs hometown was Lang Xie(琅邪) Dongwu(东武) now is called Shan Dong Zhu Cheng(山东诸城). He was a famous painter in twelve century during the Bei Song(北宋) dynasty. His other painting like Jin Ming Chi Zheng Biao TU(金明池争标图),Xi Hu Zheng Biao Tu(西湖争标图) were also very famous. And the emperor of North Song Dynasty gave positive comment on his work. His life was not rich. He lived on selling his painting, but the price of the painting that he sold was cheap. As the Shi Ji(史记 A book which wrote about most of the famous people in the history) had written, he even could not afford meat and fish for dinner. His painting was famous when he already sold and some of them became famous after he died. However, according to research, there are nothing more concrete. When and how Zhang Zeduan’s painting became famous and got well known in society? This problem or puzzle [MU1] confused people until now.

Even though his life was poor and painful but that did not affect his painting. One of the biggest characters of his painting is detail. He created each person in his painting individually and made them vivid. It looks like a picture that was token by camera. It’s hard to paint a photo but Along the river gives people the vision that only photo can gives. However, according to the history, at the Northern Song Dynasty social landscape painting was not very popular which means most contemporary painters lived on humanities painting and others are focusing on portrait for the nobleman or people who worked for government. Zhang Zeduan was a management who worked for government but it was too hard for him to rise. After he quitted the government he became a profession painter. He had three famous paintings and one of them is Along the River During Qing Ming Festival. Other two of the paintings are also horrific and remarkable. However, some of the academic scholar mentioned that Along the River might be the first painting that founded by people and other two of them were in various places since Zeduan need to sell his painting for living. All in all, after Along the river was founded and became famous, people are trying to find more information about the painter of it. Unfortunately, all the resources of Zhang Zeduan is only 71 words on the side of Along the River. This resources was written by Zhang Zhe(张着), a person from Jin Dynasty( the dynasty after Northern Song dynasty), this resources was written after Zhang Zeduan died for 58 years, and also that is the reason why many scholars mentioned that this resources were reliable.

Zhang Zeduan was one of the most famous painters during Northern Song dynasty however, there are other painters which had the same school with him and also lived in Northern Song Dynasty. Fan Kuan is a famous painter from Bei Song dynasty, he named himself Zhong Li(仲立). Fan kuan was famous by his painting. He was good at painting mountain and river. Also, he was one of the three most famous painter of Bei Song dynasty. The history talked more about his character, he was honest, free rein and generous, his friends gave him a name called kuan which means broad-minded. According to the Xuan He Hua Pu(宣和画谱) he loved drunk and lived in forest. He had a poor life but he did not care. Kuan is good at landscape painting which means his works had many similar points with Zeduan’s works. However, even though they lived in a same period, they did not know each other.

Along the River is a remarkable painting and this painting represent the landscape painters of Northern Song Dynasty. It is the symbol of some painters during this period. And, showed us Zhang Zeduan and other painters which related to him. 

Work cited

1.THE "QINGMING SHANGHE TU" BY ZHANG ZEDUAN AND ITS RELATION TO NORTHERN, Ihara Hiroshi and Yoshida Mayumi, accessed: 23-04-2017 20:40 UTC this is a book and please focusing on P135-P156


this one I only see the link without any other thing. you already see this before, I can only use a little piece from this one

3. the author called Yang Xin and was published on 2009/9 Chinese resources talk more about the detail of how Zeduan painting this picture.

4. this is also a Chinese resource and more of the article is talking about the detail of painting there are something that I can use but there is no references for this one

5. this article is published on 2016/9/13 this is a Chinese resource and it's talk about Fan Kuan a painter also from North Song period and has almost the same school of painting with Zhang zeduan.

[MU1]In what way is this a puzzle?