Chinese Painting, or Chinese ink and wash, also called Guo Hua (国画) in Chinese, is well-known for its unique art form and painting skills. Chinese painting is generally done on rice paper or silk, sometimes also on fan, porcelain, bowl, dish and screen; and painting materials include brushes, Chinese ink and dye. There are broadly three subjects for traditional Chinese paintings, portrait, landscape, and flowers and birds, of which the landscape is the most familiar with people that the Chinese painting often known as mountains and waters painting, or Shan Shui Hua (Chinese:山水画).
Chinese painting has a long historical standing as early as 2000 years ago in the Warring States Period (475BC- 221BC) and done on silks. From the premier religious painting to the landscape and flowers and birds in the two Han dynasties (202BC- 220AD), Chinese painting was flourishing in Tang Dynasty (618-907) and matured in different styles in Ming and Qing dynasties (1368-1911).
Chinese paintings are often mounted into frames or scrolls, and generally combine with Chinese calligraphy. On a typical Chinese painting, there is always an inscription as well as the painter’s seal on the corner space; what is more interesting is that some genuine pieces by great painters are always full of seals and inscriptions, as collectors in the past were habituated to put on their own seals and add some new inscriptions on paintings. Therefore, some paintings are extremely precious with many seals and inscriptions by quite a few great painters and some emperors, while it is also a pity that sometimes too much to cover parts of the paintings. Today, famous paintings of past dynasties are generally collected in national museums; and those paintings of modern times in markets are with sole seal or inscription of the painter. To buy a Chinese painting, visitors may go to the specialized shops around scenic spots, art academies and art galleries.