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This paper is a comparative study on the subjective and distinctive flower paintings (花卉畵) created by two important individualist painters of the early Qing dynasty, Bada Shanren (八大山人, 1626~1705) and Shitao (石濤, 1642~1707). Flower paintings in this paper cover the paintings on the plants in general such as Four Gentlemen (四君子), fruits, vegetables as well as flowers. When discussing creative aspects of the works of both, previous studies tend to focus on Bada Shanren’s paintings on animals or plants and Shitao’s landscape paintings. Even some studies have debated on overly high status of them in the 17th and 18th centuries which had been overestimated by the “modern evaluative view” that had focused on the collection of the China-Japan art market in the 20th century, or on the alternatives to the problems that Chinese modern art had faced since the collapse of the Qing dynasty, such as the modernization of the Chinese traditional paintings, the desirable acceptance of the Western art, the establishment of Nationalistic Art, and re-interpretation of the tradition suitable to Social Realism. However, Bada Shanren and Shitao’s main status and reputation that transcends regional, national boundaries in the early modern China are proved by historical evidence: the documentation of the 17th~18th century, their common patrons of their times, and the Chinese and Korean followers in the 18th~19th century. This study seeks to reach the origin of the modern features pioneered by these two painters through comparing themes and styles of their flower paintings. In advance, their life will be briefly reviewed, and their relationship and common patrons will be studied. Bada Shanren and Shitao came from the Ming imperial family, forced to seek refuge in the Buddhist Temple. Both returned to the secular life to pursue their art in the manner of literati painting. The biographies of both were written in the 1680~90s, and in their lifetimes both achieved recognition as highly independent and unorthodox painters. The articles about them were published not only Zhang Geng (張庚)'s Guochao huazheng lu (『國朝畵徵錄』) in 1739 and Guochao huazheng xulu (『國朝畵徵續錄』) around 1757, but also other various writings in the 18th and 19th century. This implies that their reputation was ready to spread outside China since at least the mid-18th century. The relationship between the two artists began in the second half of the 1690s and it lasted until Bada Shanren's death. This relationship was based on patronage by Huizhou merchants (徽商) who dispersedly lived in Nanchang (南昌), Nanjing (南京), Huizhou (徽州), and Yangzhou (揚州). It was supported by the mediating activities Cheng Jing'e ((程京萼), Cheng Jun (程浚), and Li Pengnian (李彭年), by collecting activities of Huiyan (蕙嵓), Cheng Jun (程浚), Huang You (黃又), Cheng Daoguang (程道光), Hong Zhengzhi (洪正治), and Wu Yuqiao (吳與橋), and by other many participants' appraisal activities. This commercial network, created by several patrons who played the roles of dealer, customer, and cooperator, provided Bada Shanren and Shitao an environment for an active production of numerous paintings on flowers, birds, animals, vegetables, fruits, and insects as well as landscape paintings. As the result of examination on the theme and style of the flower paintings of both, even under the influence of public visual images, especially of the pictorial illustrations (畵譜), Bada Shanren and Shitao created personalized images, pursuing to express their own feelings and sentiments, by combining their calligraphy with their own writings or literature from classics or contemporary texts. The Ming loyalist consciousness (遺民意識) implanted in the figures of their paintings sometimes infused political implication into certain plants such as plum blossom flowers, bamboos, hibiscuses, daffodils and so on. And sometimes, it transformed the flowers into the object of sensuous desires or romantic visual amusement. The flower paintings expressing their self-awareness (自我意識) of royal roots, monks, and literati were also produced. These paintings can be read arbitrarily according to each person's different experience from their own life. For instance, Bada Shanren's paintings, based on the self-awareness of Ming prince-painter, show strong political resistance against Qing Dynasty through cynicism, satire, and irony. On the other hand, in Shitao's paintings where his awareness of royal root, monk, and literatus with culturally cultivated loyalist consciousness was manifoldly described, the excitement, desire, and sentiment were amusingly embodied. Since the authenticity of the literati paintings of the early Qing has been secured by this arbitrarity or subjectivity, thorough analyzation on each expression and its meaning is essential. Lastly, with regard to their painting styles, while the mysterious implication of brush-and-ink is noticeable in Bada Shanren’s, Shitao’s paintings exhibit more sensuous brush-and-ink and color use. Inspired by Xu Wei (徐謂) and Bada Shanren, Shitao, in his later years in Yangzhou, developed various brush-and-ink and color use through specialized and spontaneous ways, which contributed to establishing new lineage of literlati paintings. By and large, based on Huizhou merchants’ patronage in the 1690s and the 1700s, both gained their reputation in Jiangnan (江南) area, by practicing their individualistic styles not only on landscape paintings but also paintings on animals, flowers, and plants. Self-awareness of their royal roots and watery brush-and-ink style were their common ground. Shitao, however, showed more professional aspects in terms of developing diverse painting techniques through a pursuit of an autonomy in brush-and-ink and color use. This is believed to be a result of Shitao’s spontaneous efforts for expanding boundaries of expression as a professional painter who had numerous supporters, rather than a result depending on a certain patron’s taste or influence. In the same contexts, Yangzhou painters’ numerous flower paintings of the 18th century seem to be related with intellectuals’ support on this field which had been enlarged by Bada Shanren and Shitao, rather than they were the results of a massive production to meet the demand for merchant patrons’ taste only. Yangzhou, at the time, was a city where reputation brought forth trend. There is a high probability that these two painters’ paintings were perceived as important implications among the 18th~19th century’s Jiangnan intellectuals who shared culturally cultivated loyalist consciousness as Shitao did. Aside from the Qing court’s acknowledgement of Dong Qichang (董其昌)’s literati (landscape) painting lineage as an orthodox, Jiangnan intellectuals, under the Manchu’s governance, may have recognized Shitao as a true literati painter, who reminded the literati (flower) painting lineage going up to Wen Tong (文同) and Su Shi (蘇軾). On the other side of “modern evaluative view” on Shitao in the 20th century is perhaps related to this complex sociocultural aspects inherited from the inside of the Jiangnan literati’s society since the late 17th and 18th centuries.


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팔대산인(八大山人, Bada Shanren), 석도(石濤, Shitao), 개성주의자(個性主義者, Individualist), 문인화(文人畵, Literati painting), 화훼화(花卉畵, Flower painting), 후원자(後援者, Patron), 상인후원(商人後援, Merchant’s patronage), 유민의식(遺民意識, Loyalist consciousness), 자아의식(自我意識, Self-awareness), 필묵(筆墨, Brush-and-ink), 색채(色彩, Color), 강남화단(江南畵壇, Jiangnan art world), 양주화파(揚州畵派, Yangzhou painters)