Tales of the Brush: Chinese Painting with Literary Themes

From the ancient times to the present day, Chinese artists have always turned to literature for inspiration for their paintings and works of calligraphy, and other objects. By creating a close correlation between image and text, artists over the centuries have depicted famous mythical scenes, illustrated significant events in Chinese history, and interpreted beloved poems and stories. Among the major literary themes on view are the mythical “Nymph of the Luo River,” the historical tale of “Lady Cai Wenji Returns to Han,” the legendary “Female Immortal Chang E,” and the poetic “Thoughts on Ancient Sites by Du Fu.”