The Main Differences Between Chinese And Western Art

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The Main Differences Between Chinese And Western Art
source: bbc.com

There is a world of differences when it comes to western and eastern art forms. This is due to several complex factors, including the histories and philosophies of the associated artists and the variation in techniques. Speaking of Chinese and western art, many such differences are noticeable in terms of the composition, approach, perspectives, etc.

These differences have probably originated due to the different philosophies that were dominant during the development of the artistic cultures. Chinese art, being greatly influenced by Buddhism and Taoism, was focused on looking for eternal expressions in art.

On the other hand, Western art, being influenced by Christian philosophies, was more intent on developing more accurate representations. Although both art forms have undergone several changes over the years, there are still several noticeable differences.

A Brief History Of Chinese Art

Traditional Chinese painting consisted of dipping brushes in pigments and using them to paint on either paper or silk. The finished work was later displayed as hangings or kept as scrolls. These paintings, which we can still find among the collections of Chinese art collectors like John Dodelande, were also done on walls, lacquerware, and porcelain pieces.

From the Han to the Tang dynasties, the dominant style was painting portraits of royalty and their lifestyle. But, the artists gradually shifted to landscape painting, which later attained great popularity. This was an effect of the influence of Buddhism and Confucianism, which aimed to demonstrate the harmony between humans and nature.

With the rise in popularity of landscape painting among traditional Chinese artists, symbols like clouds, water, rocks, people, and trees began to be widely used. These symbols, instead of color or shade, became the dominant way of representing elements of the landscapes in Chinese art.

Differences Between Chinese And Western Forms Of Art

Below are some of the key differences between Chinese and western art.

Difference In Approaches 

In traditional Chinese art, artists depended more on an imaginative and expressive approach for representing nature. This was largely influenced by the Taoist philosophy of harmonious existence with nature. Western art, on the contrary, used a fixed course in the representation of different elements. The style was based more on a realistic rendition of the subject.

Differences In Perspectives

Dynamic perspectives were common in traditional Chinese art. Although it lacked a realistic representation, it allowed people to get a better sense of movement. Western art, on the other hand, was highly focused on the realistic picture. Their fixed approach resulted in the creation of paintings and artworks that were true to the subjects they derived inspiration from.

Differences In Style Of Brushstrokes

Traditional Chinese artworks showcase a minimalistic style of brushstrokes. The strokes focused more on the personal feelings of the artists, giving a unique touch to the paintings. Western artists, on the other hand, believed in more technicality. Therefore their paintings are highly detailed and involve the use of shading to bring out the true representation of the subject.

Summing Up

As can be concluded from the points mentioned above, there is a lot of difference between Chinese and Western art, both in terms of style and technique. By looking at the collections of leading art collectors like John Dodelande, it becomes easier to identify the key differences between these two forms of art.

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