Four Wangs

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       The “Four Wangs” refer to four Chinese landscape painters in the late Ming and early Qing periods. They are Wang Shimin (王時敏, 1592–1680), Wang Jian (王鑑, 1598–1677), Wang Hui (王翬, 1632-1717), and Wang Yuanqi (王原祁, 1642–1715), who represented the so-called “orthodox school” of painting at the time.

       The orthodox school was based upon the dicta laid down by Dong Qichang (董其昌, 1555-1636). It was “orthodox” in the Confucian sense of continuing traditional modes, and it was in contrast to a group of Individualist painters, especially Zhu Da (朱耷, 1626-1705) and Shitao (石濤, 1642-1707), who ultimately came to represent another development of the standards for the painter and his painting as codified by Dong Qichang.