After the peasants’ revolt at An Lushan, Du, an official’s son was, forced to leave the capital of Chang’an, withdrawing in 759 to Chengdu in Sichuan province, where he wrote more than 200 poems. His house on the banks of a small river in the middle of a bamboo forest can still be visited.
The works of Du Fu, a follower of Confucian teachings, are characterised by classical severity. Poet, essayist and politician Guo Moruo was born in 1892 and studied Guo Moruo medicine in Japan. As a student he wrote poems and short stories. (1892-1978)
After a short stay in China where he taught at Canton University, he fled back to Japan in the face of the Kuomintang persecution of Communists. In 1937 he returned to his homeland and took part in the resistance movement against the Japanese, being mainly involved with cultural matters. When the republic was proclaimed in 1949 he became president of the Chinese Academy of Science, the most elevated cultural institution in the country, and was also appointed vice-president of the People’s Congress. Apart from a three-year break during the Cultural Revolution, he held the last post until his death.
Apart from poems and essays Guo published several plays and archaeological papers. In addition he translated literary and scientific works into Chinese from several languages.
Han Kan enjoys an almost legendary reputation in the history of Chinese painting and is the most influential Chinese horse painter. Little is known of his life other than that he worked in a wine shop in his youth. His talent was spotted by thefamous painterWang Wei, whothen gave him lessons. Han Kan was a court painter from 742 to 756.
For the first time the close observation of nature was an important consideration for the painter. He studied horses and their movements very closely. Many horse paintings have been attributed to Han Kan, but only a few have been confirmed as authentic.
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