People and Gods
Figure Painting in China

21.09.2010 to 27.03.2011

Figure painting had already become the most important genre in Chinese painting by the time of the Song Dynasty (960-1276). It continued to remain a prominent genre even after it had been overtaken in importance by landscape painting. Figurative painting originally took the form of commemorative portraits and depictions of deities, while the family portrait was to occupy a vital place in every Chinese household well into the 20th century. Examples of commemorative portraits in this exhibition include the officer portraits from the Ziguang Ge or 'Hall of Purple Glory', images of Zhong Kui and an infernal judge, one of the many depictions of deities.