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Biography ZHOU Shen
Shen Zhou (1427-1509). Artist Shen Zhou lived for many years and had become famous long before his death. Followers and admirers of Shen Zhou stood out among his contemporaries, and diverted him a very honorable place in the entire history of Chinese painting. Nearest apprentice Wen Cheng-ming believed even beloved teacher incarnate the immortal genius, one of those who, according to Chinese mythology, rarely, but still comes to the human world.

. Why such a high evaluation of the traditional masters? The fact is that Chinese artists have long been valued not only for his art
. Are taken into account and, as one would say now, 'career', and the whole lifestyle, which was supposed to meet certain, centuries-old notions. China is the only country in the world where the cultural tradition, originated in ancient times, almost never interrupted. History of Fine Arts in China has more than a thousand years, and it is natural that during that time have emerged fairly strict canons, formally define the stylistic and narrative features of painting. Along with this there was also a kind of canon of the artist's life. Following lie at the core of Chinese culture to the principle of matching patterns of the past, countless generations of Chinese artists and poets sought to 'imitate the ancient' and in art and in life. Especially strong attraction to an idealized old-fashioned at the time was ripe and the late Middle Ages, that is, during the reign of the Ming and Qing. Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) came to power by the victorious uprising, which destroyed the power of the Mongol rulers, who owned China a little less than a century. New emperors proclaimed a return to genuine Chinese old order, and therefore greatly encouraged the cultivation of hallowed tradition, customs and ideas. Shen Zhou was quite consistent and complete artist-traditionalist. He lived in 1 half of the Ming period, ie, at a time favorable for the development of his own spiritual inclinations. The successful combination of individual aspirations to be the perfect man for the model of ancient art from the minds and spirits amicably, . sure, . considerable talent of the painter and made Shen Zhou renowned and respected 'Hon master Shenem', . as it is called in the old texts.,

. Shen Zhou belonged venzhenhua direction, which can be translated as 'painting artists, writers' or 'painting of intellectuals'
. Direction it should be understood not as a European school or style. What united artists venzhenhua not so much the overall style of painting, how many philosophical and religious beliefs of their relationship. 'Artists, intellectuals' have traditionally not bound by public service, they remained aloof from political affairs and official bureaucratic ranks. Shen Zhou's family for several generations of his ancestors were amateur painters and poets. Both the painter never cared about the official career and lucrative positions. He is in full compliance with famous artists of past centuries, is fully devoted himself to fine arts. Naturally, the Shen Zhou could not afford to blithely indulge in lofty pursuits, coming from a wealthy family. However, even when his circumstances, cases worse, he wearied care of everyday prose. In his biography describes, . that when the governor of the province, . Shen Zhou profound respect for knowledge and talent, . wanted to appoint him to the honorable and not too onerous post, . artist turned to divination and, . in accordance with the lot fell, . refused.,

. Shen Zhou built a simple hut in a bamboo grove, and kept in her solitary life, a philosopher, enjoying nature, creating a beautiful painting and writing lyrical poetry
. Most Chinese art direction venzhenhua known as poets. The ability to compose verses in the old China was regarded as a sine qua non of education and fine taste. Shen Zhou followed in his poems outstanding poets of bygone centuries-Po Chu-i, Su Shi, Lu Yu, and others.

Admiring the beauty of the surrounding mountains and rivers, the artist often spent in contemplation of the days and nights. Generalized image of the scientist's husband, conceives in harmony with nature and the riddles of existence of the universe, Shen Zhou depicted in the movie 'Play on tsine', now kept in a museum in Osaka in Japan. The artist clearly close to his hero, we can say that to some extent, this self-portrait of the master. A small figure of organically merged with the surrounding landscape, being an equal part of it, like trees or rocks. In a free space of the image pattern Shen Zhou put the poetic text, written in elegant calligraphic handwriting:

In the hands of my chin, and in the sky the moon
I touch the strings, admiring the moon.
Fresh breeze and bright moon,
I feel like I am immortal ...
But time is running out, sits moon
And in the pot already cooled wine.
Poetic inscriptions Tib-not uncommon in the paintings of artists, writers. The hieroglyphic text complements and deepens the plot shown, making a roll to play with new overtones of meaning.

Often Shen Zhou visited in his solitude friends. Gradually formed around him famous in the history of Chinese painting 'At School', so named for the area I, located south of the Yangtze, with the center in the city of Suzhou, the birthplace of Shen Zhou. In the XV century in southern China have been concentrated the most significant artistic force, and that Shen Zhou was one of the first.

. Artists 'School v' and, of course, the 'first among equals' Master Shen followed in his art painters Sung and Yuan periods, copying and creating a voluntary paraphrases Ma Yuan, Hsia Guya, Ni Zhang, Wang Meng and other
. In the remaining more than two hundred works, bearing the seal Shen Zhou, one can see examples of skillful creative repetition manners famous masters of the past. By the way, not all pictures with a seal Shen Zhou written by him. The old master, whose scrolls were highly valued, often have students asking to put their stamp on their art, so a higher price then sell it. And a good teacher, according to the legend, never denied. Sam Shen Zhou, like a true 'artist-intellectual', do not usually sell their works, and gave them to friends and all lovers of art, who asked him about it.

Best Shen Zhou checkered small Landscape sheets and rolls of horizontal format. In its vertical compositions sometimes noticeably incomplete possession of space and plans of different depths. Painter almost no portraits of specific people. His poetic vision is fully revealed in the landscapes. Over spirited way of living nature, makes his way through the skillful styling, the Chinese art historians Shen Zhou was enrolled in first-class artists-shenyshn. An old book about painting says of him: 'light and relaxed were his paintings. He has always been easy, though much has reached '.

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