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Updated: 2023-11-13 10:31 ( China Daily )
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Impressions of time

Behind each great artist of classic Chinese painting often stood a brilliant engraver, who carved the seals they used on their paintings.

In 1926, master painter Zhang Daqian got to know seal maker Fang Jiekan (1901-87) and the two forged an unbreakable friendship that lasted some 50 years. The seals Fang carved for Zhang left impressions on dozens of the latter's paintings, including his final creation, Landscape of Lushan Mountain, an ambitious project started in 1981. Zhang entrusted Fang with the engraving of several seals especially for the painting, but succumbed to illness before he was able to complete it, and died in 1983.

A replica of the 10-meter landscape, bearing Fang's seals, is now on show at Masters of Seal Engraving, an exhibition at the Tsinghua University Art Museum that focuses on the careers of three prominent figures in this classic Chinese art form, including Fang, his mentor Xie Leiming (1884-1963) and his student Xu Wuwen (1931-93). All three were members of Hangzhou's esteemed Xiling Seal Engraver's Society, which admits those who not only display a fine technique, but are also consummate artists and scholars. The exhibition runs until Jan 3.

9 am-5 pm, closed on Mondays. Tsinghua University campus, 1 Qinghuayuan, Haidian district, Beijing. 010-6278-1012.

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