Landscape and meditation in China from the XNUMXth to the XNUMXth century

Lecture by Cédric Laurent, lecturer in Chinese language, literature and civilization, University of Rennes 2.

In the XNUMXth century, meditation was a common practice among scholars. It is especially encouraged by the thinkers of the school of the heart (xinxue) which proceeds to the synthesis of neo-Confucian, Taoist and Buddhist thoughts.
This practice gave rise to poetic and pictorial production among leading intellectuals such as Shen Zhou (1427-1509), Tang Yin (1470-1524) or Wen Zhengming (1470-1559). In their paintings, very different from contemporary engravings which describe the postures of meditation, the landscape takes on a metaphorical value; it evokes the inner state of the meditator. The proximity between the texts associated with these images and the poems of the theorists of Confucian meditation (Chen Xianzhang, 1428-1500; Gao Panlong, 1562-1626) brings a new look at secular practices in China and gives a new meaning to landscapes. painted.

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