|KEY WORD : art history / paintings|
|Ch: Kongzi. Confucious (551-479 BC). The seminal Chinese philosopher of the late Spring and Autumn period. His family name was Kong (Jp: Kou 孔), his personal name was Qiu (Jp:Kyuu 丘), and he used the pseudonym Zhongni (Jp: Chuuji 仲尼). The English name Confucious derives from the honorary title Kong fuzi (Jp:Kou Fushi 孔夫子). Born to a poor but noble family in the small state of Lu 魯(modern Shandung 山東 province), Confucious' love of learning and insistence on moral rectitude earned the position of tutor to the sons of the ruling class. Although he certainly desired a more public post --- and later biographies transform him into a successful statesman --- there is no indication that he achieved such a position. Accompanied by several disciples, Confucious spent 13 years (497-484 BC) traveling through several small states seeking a ruler to listen to his teaching. Eventually he returned to Lu where he died in 479BC. Confucious' apotheosis in the Han dynasty (he was considered a divine sage, omiscent and morally infallible) led to the building of Confucian shrines and the production of portrait statues and paintings. Traditional painting subjects include: illustrated biographies Koushiden-zu 孔子伝図; Confucious in a philosophical dialogue with Laozi (Jp: Roushi 老子) during a trip to Zhou Kou Rou mondou-zu 孔老問答図; Confucious lecturing disciples while sitting on a platform beneath an apricot tree Koushi Kyoudan-zu 孔子杏壇図; Confucious watching a flowing stream Koushi kanga-zu 孔子観河図. Another group of paintings show Confucious with all or some of his 10 disciples Koumon jittetsu 孔門十哲 (Ch: Kongmen shizhe). The disciples include Yan Hui (Jp: Gan Kai 顔回), Min Ziqian (Jp: Bin Shiken 閔子騫), Ran Poiu (Jp: Zen Hakugyuu 冉伯牛), Zhong Gong (Jp: Chuu Kyuu 仲弓), Zai Wo (Jp: Sai Ga 宰我), Zi Kong (Jp: Shi Kou 子貢), Ran Yu (Jp: Zen Yuu 冉有), Zi Lu (Jp: Shi Ro 子路), Zi Yu (Jp: Shi Yuu 子游), and Zi Xia (Jp: Shi Ka 子夏). In Japan, beginning in the Edo period various depictions of Confucious were produced to aid the dissemination of Confucianism. There are well-known portraits by Kanou Tan'yuu 狩野探幽 (1602-74) and Kanou Tsunenobu 狩野常信 (1636-1713), and a Kou Rou mondou-zu by Watanabe Kazan 渡辺華山 (1793-1841).|
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