Looking at the Landscape Paintings from the Chu-Griffis Collection at Connecticut College, you find differences in painting techniques. A typically traditional landscape painting observes certain rules:
1. accurate lines,
2. powerful brush movements,
3. contrast gradations of ink,
4. interplay between dark and light, and
5. painted and unpainted space.
This time-tested tradition has prevailed over the thousand-year history of Chinese Landscape Painting. These are all considered necessary in order to bring out the harmony and vitality of nature.
Questioning this traditional way of painting began in the early years of this century. The strongest explosion against traditional painting started with a young generation of artists shortly after the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) when the word "creativity" was in the air. Diversity in painting styles emerged. In the early 80's, even though traditional landscape painting continued to be practiced, an opposing force against tradition flourished. In the meantime, a third trend has become more common than before. It is the blending of Western techniques with deeply rooted older brush techniques.
--Charles Chu (1918-2008)
Curator and Professor Emeritus, Connecticut College
Please click on the linked images below to see some of the highlights of the collection together with explanatory text from Professor Chu. For an extensive selection of images in the collection, see the landscape section in the Connecticut College Visual Resources Library gallery.