HOME
15) Han Kan (active 740-760), Night-shining White. Short handscroll. Ink on paper. Chinese paintings of horses are an important subgenre of portrait painting because fine horses were prized for the same qualities prized in humans: strength, fortitude, perseverance. Han Kan was a Court painter who specialized in painting "portraits" of the horses in T'ang Emperor Ming-huang's stable, which is reputed to have housed 40,000 head, among them a pure white stallion called "Night-shining White." According to traditional Chinese aesthetic standards, a good horse painting must not only faithfully depict the flesh and bone-structure of the animal, but also capture its fundamental spirit or essence. This picture may be compared to the famous T'ang three-color pottery horse, and is the beginning of a long tradition of later Chinese horse painting.

CLICK FOR ENLARGED PICTURE
SLIDES:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53