Jiao BingZhen (Chiao Ping-chen)

Qing Dynasty 1689-1726

Paintings by Jiao Bingzhenof the Qing Dynasty, height 24.9 cm.These are three of a group of paintingsdepicting agricultural production in theQing Dynasty. Jiao Bingzhen, a native ofJining (now Jining, Shandong Province),was an official on the Imperial Board ofAstronomy. He was skilled in paintinghuman figures and landscapes. This albumon plowing and weaving, done during themid years of Emperor Kangxi's reign,consists of 46 paintings. The emperorappreciated the paintings so much that heordered craftsmen to carve them onblocks and print them. The pages shownhere are on plowing, winnowing andpicking mulberry leaves.

Chiao Ping-chen [Jiao BingZhen], a native of Shantung, served in the Directorate of Astronomy at court, where he worked with Europeans. He came in contact with European painting styles, which influenced the rendering of figural and architectural subjects in Ch'ing court art.

The depiction of traditional architecture in painting has a long history in China, that dates back at least as far as the writings of Ku K'ar-chih (ca. 344 - 406). The primary technique used to render architecture in painting was known as " ruled-line painting," in which a ruler was used as a tool to guide the brush. The use of the ruler allowed painters to produce exact, parallel lines, which in turn made it possible to render the specific dimensions of individual structures. "Ruled-line painting" experienced its heyday in the 109th century, during the Five Dynasties and early Sung. In the Yuan dynasty, with the rise of scholar painting and the increasing emphasis placed on painting as a means of personal expression, the exactness and realism of "ruled-line painting" gradually declined in popularity. Although it never regained its former status, it did experience a resurgence in the works of some early Ch'ing court painters, who were influenced by Western techniques of painting composition and architectural drawing.

The National Museum of Chinese History, Taiwan

Back | Next | Jiao Bingzhen Page