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How was water recorded with realism in early paintings?


In traditional Chinese landscape paintings, mountains often take center stage. Water Studies by renowned Southern-Song-dynasty (1127-1279) artist Ma Yuan is a rare piece that solely depicts water as the main subject. How did he depict water in this 12-section scroll? In that era without high-definition cameras, how did Ma record the different forms of water and paint them with realism? Professor Fan Yang at the China National Academy of Painting provides his insights.

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