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Mi Fei and Korean Art Research Papers

Art is not an essay subject to explicate. Let Paper Masters help you with a custom research paper on any Korean Art topic. Our writers put together this sample introduction on the work of Mi Fei to illustrate to you what they can do for you.

Mi Fei and Korean Art

The Sung dynasty (960-1278 AD.) is usually taken as the high point of Chinese painting, particularly landscape painting. Rubissow has spoken of the “…special sense of balance…” found in Sung paintings and indeed, in the still, tranquil, landscapes of the following:

  1. Fan K’uan (active 930-1030)
  2. Hsia Kuei (c. 1180-1230)

Both do landscapes in which the human presence is tiny in relation to the whole and in which there is a sense of quiet eternity, that cosmic sense of ideal balance appears. Several centuries after the demise of the Sung dynasty Korean painters of the Yi dynasty (1392-1910), much influenced by the culture of China, utilized Sung techniques to produce landscapes of a similar perfection.  One of the Sung painters they were most influenced by was Mi Fei (1051-1107).  Your Mi Fei research paper will discuss the nature of his influence and the probable way in which it was transmitted.

Mi Fei (also called Mi Fu and Yuan-chang) was an artistic polymath. That is, he was not only a painter, but also one of the greatest calligraphers of his time and, in addition, was a collector, a connoisseur, and an important critic. He was, as Clunas has noted, associated with “scholar-official painting”.  That is, he was very much a part of the Sung artistic-intellectual-bureaucratic milieu. This is highly important in two respects.  In the first place it is impossible to over-estimate the importance of bureaucratic position in cultures functioning under the influence of Confucianism; Confucian states are bureaucratic states and in such states official position is a source of legitmacy.  This may have had a great deal to do with the adoption of Mi Fei by the artists of another Confucian state, Korea.  Secondly, the fact that Mi Fei was an intellectual as well as an artist, that he had published commentaries on painting (his observations are still quoted today would also have given him stature under a Confucian system, for the Confucians were great believers in the benefits of scholarship. This was especially true of Chu Hsi (1130-1200), the philosopher who presided over a revival of Confucianism during the Sung dynasty. Thus, both as a place holder in the bureaucracy, and as a man of letters, quite apart from his merits as a painter, Mi Fei was a likely person to have an influence on other artists; these things guaranteed prestige in the Confucian cultural and bureaucratic environment.

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