Museum of Chinese Art and Ethnography Xaverian Missionaries - V.le S. Martino, 8 - Parma, Italy 0521-257.337

Collection of Paintings


Two-color Xilography: Chrysanthemum - Tan Hsi Fu. Sec. XII
Two-color Xilography: Chrysanthemum
Tan Hsi Fu - 12th century

The gift of simplicity is often found in Chinese paintings, but it is so rich in meaning that it can be identified with profound philosophical, moral, social and even ascetic principles. Most of the time the artist was a philosopher, a wise person who possessed the noblest way to interpret and express the mystery of nature. For this reason, the Chinese regarded the art of painting as "the perfection of knowledge."

Chang Yen-Yuan wrote in 847: "Painting promotes culture and the principles of right conduct; it completely encompasses all aspects of life and of the universe, and explores the subtle and the abstruse, thus serving the same purpose of the six Sutras, and follows the four seasons. It originated from nature and not from the thoughts and works of human beings." The museum has more than 100 paintings, rubbings and inscriptions, and only a few are displayed, because of space and conservation reasons.