History of Chinese Brush Painting
The history of chinese brush painting can be traced all the way back to 5000 B.C.. However the artform as we know it began to really take shape during the Han Dynasty. During the Han Dynasty, the invention of paper, one of the four treasures of chinese brush painting, encouraged the profileration of two styles of chinese brush painting that still exist today.

Historical Record Keeping Births the Gong-bi Style of Brush Painting
The invention of paper encouraged the keeping of detailed historical records, and often as part of the record keeping, paintings were done. These paintings were very orthodox characterized by fine continuous black lines, with flat washes of color filling in between the borders. The orthodox style of this painting was influenced a great deal Confucian philosophies that saw a revival during the Han period. To this day, this Gong-bi or fineline style of painting is still being done all across the world.

Calligraphy Inspires the Po Mo Style of Brush Painting
The invention of paper also energized the development of the art of calligraphy. During the Han period, artists would use their calligraphy strokes to compose paintings that captured the spirit or the essence of their subjects. The strokes and the emphasis on capturing the essence of their subjects forever tied this spontaneous or Po Mo style of brush painting to calligraphy. The phrase Po Mo literally means to "throw ink" and embodies the spontaneity that characterizes this type of brush painting. This Po Mo style of painting is very popular to this day.
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