The Four Gentlemen of Brush Painting Greeting Cards

From Original Brush painting by Nan Rae

From the basic techniques of Calligraphy in China, there evolved the difficult forms and styles of all Chinese art.  These developed first with the ‘Bamboo’ and ‘Orchid’ subjects.  Later … two other ‘Gentlemen’ evolved.  Together, the four subjects or ‘Gentlemen’ (or ‘Four Seasons’) became the important prototypes of the many Chinese Brush painting styles.

Thus, ‘The Four Gentlemen’ form the basis of all the various and complex styles of Chinese brush.  Their names are:

(1)  Plum – Symbol of the Winter season – with its secret promise of renewal and rejuvenation: the perpetual continuity and hardiness of life.

(2)  Orchid – Symbol of the perennial ‘Hope of Spring’ and the bright promise of spring itself in its unity and modesty.

(3)  Bamboo – Symbol of the Summer season and its endurance, flexibility and perseverance.

(4)  Chrysanthemum – Symbol of the ‘Autumn Season’: ‘The triumphant in life: persistence, patience and fortitude.’

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Nan’s paintings are so delicate and strong at the same time. I love seeing her work!

Rosalie Hart @brushandflourish

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