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Chinese Literature
Yizhou minghua lu 益州名畫錄 "Famous Paintings from Sichuan"


The Yizhou minghua lu 益州名畫錄 "Famous Paintings from Sichuan", also called Chengdu minghua lu 成都名畫記 "Famous Painters of Chengdu" is a painting critique written by the Song period 宋 (960-1279) scholar Huang Xiufu 黃休復, courtesy name Huang Guiben 黃歸本. He came from Jiangxia 江夏 (modern Wuchang 武昌, Hubei) and was a Confucian scholar who, according to Li Lüe's 李略 preface from 1007, was an expert in the Classic Chunqiu 春秋 and the Gongyang 公羊傳 and Guliang 穀梁傳 commentaries, and also a collector of ancient paintings and calligraphies. He has also written the book Maoting ketan 茅亭客話 that also talks a lot about Sichuan, so that it is also possible that Huang Xiufu came from Sichuan, and not from Jiangxia, as a statement in the bibliography Zhizhai shulu jieti 直齋書錄解題 says. The 3 juan "scrolls" long book is an evaluation of the works of 58 painters from Sichuan that lived between the Tang 乾符元年 and the early Northern Song period. All persons are attributed to one of four categories (ge 格, namely yi 逸 "rare", shen 神 "divine", miao 妙 "miraculous" and neng 能 "able"). One painter is rated as belonging to each of the first two categories. The last two categories are divided into three grades each (shangpin 上品, zhongpin 中品, xiapin 下品). The classification of the painters is explained and visualized in the table of contents. The text of the book provides a short biography of each person and describes his abilities and strengths. Unfortunately the table of contents includes more persons than the main text. The category "Miraculous A" (miaoge shangpin 妙格上品), for instance, includes seven persons in the table of contents, but only for six persons biographies are provided (Peng Jian 彭堅 is missing). The second scroll of the book includes an appendix with 22 paintings and remarks to the places where they were stored, and the third juan an appendix of 5 paintings of which the name of the painter is unknown, and the names of 6 painters of whom no paintings are known. There are two supplements to Huang Xiufu's book, the Chongxie qian Yizhou wuchang shi zhen ji 重寫前益州五長史真記 and Hushi tinghua ji 胡氏亭畫記.
The text of the book is written in a very elegant language and includes many poems and quotations from ancient texts.
The Yizhou minghua lu is included in the collectanea Tang-Song congshu 唐宋叢書, Hanhai 函海, Huayuan 畫苑, Shuofu 說郛, Hubei xianzheng yishu 湖北先正遺書 and Siku quanshu 四庫全書. In 1982 the Sichuan renmin press 四川人民出版社 published modern edition with annotations by He Yunruo 何韞若 and Lin Kongyi 林孔翼.


Sources:
Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰 (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典, Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe, vol. 2, p. 1800.
Chinese literature according to the four-category system

October 19, 2013 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail