Song Xu: life and works

By Gwylym Owen

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Song Xu (Chinese: 宋旭; pinyin: Sòng Xù; Wade–Giles: Sung Hsü, born 1525), was a Chinese landscape painter. His courtesy declare was Chuyang (初炀) and otherwise known as was Shimen (石门, “Stone Gate”). Song eventually became a Buddhist priest and adopted various religious names. He was, according to some sources from Jixing in Zhejiang province, but others encourage that he was from Huzhou in Zhejiang Province.

Song was and extremely well read and capably versed individual who was greatly influenced by Zen teaching. He was an proficient landscapist, but in addition to excelled at human figures. During the late 16th century, he traveled throughout China. A 1543 scroll shows his assay of the Song time painter Xia Gui. He is said to have studied the works of the master performer Shen Zhou. Song’s eccentric paintings are often characterized by inscriptions in characters of an obsolete style. He was largely individualistic and independent, working for the most part outdoor the major painting schools of his age.

An extant painting of Buddhist Arhats bears a date of 1605. Other works con a yet active painter at eighty-one.

Song Xu’s series Eighteen Views of Huzhou (‘湖州十八景圖) was produced c. 1588. These annotated landscapes are of scenic locations Famous for their beauty something like the city of Wuxing, southeastern China.

The album is held by The Cleveland Museum of Art.

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