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Chinese History - Song Period Arts

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Already during the second half of the Tang period 唐 the face of large cities had changed from the strict pattern of UMWALLT STADTVIERTEL (lifang 里坊) to a WEICHBILD that was much more AUFGELOCKERT. It was especially the restrictions for markets - including night markets (yeshi 夜市) -, shops and foodstalls that were abolished and allowed commercial business to be established throughout the cities. Merchants and craftsmen were allowed to open their shops (dianpu 店舖) and workshops (zuofang 作坊) within AUSGEZEICHNETE specialized ZUNFTGASSEN. Other GEWERBE like (didian 邸店), restaurants (jiulou 酒樓) and other entertainment AXXX were also allowed to be founded within certain lanes of the city. Several monasteries UNTERHALTEN parks within the city that served as recreation zone for the inhabitants.
Generally, larger compounds, monasteries and palaces (gongshi 宮室) during the Song period were not as large as during the Tang period, but instead architects spent more time for decoration and the XXX of details like glazed tiles (boli wa 玻璃瓦) and SCHNITZEREIEN (diaoke 雕刻). It was especially during the Southern Song period that craftsmen from the south (Jiangnan 江南) were engaged in the task to ornate the timber buildings with their pending roofs (xuanshan ding 懸山頂) and developed styles that endured until the Qing period 清.
The capital city of Northern Song, Kaifeng 開封 (Bianzhou 汴州, Bianliang 汴梁; modern Kaifeng/Henan) was protected by a threefold city wall (cheng 城, chengqiang 城牆), each of the city gates (chengmen 城門) was protected by a tower (quelou 闕樓) and a counter-tower (dilou 敵樓). The inner city wall (neicheng 內城) enclosed the imperial palace (gongcheng 宮城, huangcheng 皇城), the city administration (yashu 衙署), monasteries (Buddhist siyuan 寺院, Daoist daoguan 道觀) and temples (cimiao 祠廟), residences of princes (wanggong zhai 王公宅), and the "normal" population with their houses, shops and XXX. The imperial city was located in the northwest of the inner city and was protected by large ECK-towers (jiaolou 角樓) and a heavily protected southern gate (Danfengmen 丹鳳門 "Red Phoenix Gate"). One of the largest halls of the imperial palace was the Daqing Hall 大慶殿 "Hall of Great Ceremony" where the great court audiences were held. The highest ministers met with the emperor in the Zichen Hall 紫宸殿 "XXX". In the northeastern corner of the Imperial city was an imperial garden with a hill (Genyue Hill 艮岳) and an artificial lake (Jinming Lake 金明池). Of all these buildings, nothing has survived.
During the Song period several changes took place that should influence the lifestyle and architecture style leading to shapes and customs that are still in use today. People of Chinese antiquity did not use any chairs but were sitting on reet mats on the floor. This custom had been gradually replaced by the manner of sitting on high chairs and eating, debating and working on high tables like it is in common use today and has even been in the west. The traditional Chinese house and lifestyle thus developed during the Song period. This is also valid for the shape of gates, the ornaments of roofs and paintings on roof beams. In the houses of the rich, artificial gardens (yuanlin 園林) with mountains, river and lakes, chrysanthemums (mudan 牡丹, shaoyao 芍藥) in pots, GÄNGE (zoulang 走廊, huilang 迴廊, 回廊) and many different shapes of gates, entrances and passages created the atmoshpere of a microcosm that can still be admired in the gardens of Suzhou 蘇州/Jiangsu. Although the traditional house arrangement is a central court, flanked by four FLÜGEL (siheyuan 四合院), the EMPFANGSHALLE in the front in the south and the private rooms behind in the north, natural conditions - especially in the south - made it possible to ABWEICHEN from this pattern and to create ABWECHSLUNGSREICHE arrangements for chambers, GÄNGE and pavillions (ting 亭).
There are still some Song Dynasty buildings and many temple statues left like the Shengmu Hall 聖母殿 of the Jinsi Temple 晉祠 in Taiyuan/Shanxi, the Double Pagoda 雙塔 of the Luohan Court 羅漢院 in Suzhou, the open Liaodi Pagoda 料敵塔 of Kaiyuan Monastery 開元寺 in Dingxian 定縣/Hebei, the pagoda of the state monastery Youguosi 佑國寺 in Kaifeng, or the archaic pagoda of the Yunyan Monastery 雲岩寺 near Suzhou. One of the most impressive monasteries of the Song period is Longxing Monastery 隆興寺 in Zhengding 正定/Hebei.

2000 ff. © Ulrich Theobald · Mail

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