Excellent Iron Paintings In Beijing’s Local Shops

Iron painting is an extraordinary, complex art form. It is an innovative art that brings the essence of various traditional Chinese art forms into a new method of expression. It is an unlikely combination of delicate Chinese ink paintings and tough iron. Invented in the Qing dynasty by an ambitious blacksmith called Tang Tianchi, it has become one of China’s most celebrated cultural heritages. Beijing has several shops with unique and beautiful iron paintings, be sure to check them out when you are on a tour in the city.

An iron painting is created by welding a number of iron pieces together to form a unique-looking image. Made based on the model of traditional Chinese paintings, they also have a sense of western realism that comes from the varying dimensions of iron. The special quality of iron enables the painter to express a range of new concepts not possible with just a piece of paper.

Depending on how they are used, most iron paintings can be divided into three main types: “Ci Fu Xiao Jing,” lantern paintings, and screens.

“Ci Fu Xiao Jing”: Ci Fu Xiao Jing means a framed painting that is less than 1 foot in length. Such paintings are normally put on a wall. Themes seen on this type of iron painting are things from nature, like trees, flowers, and animals. Pines, plum blossoms, orchid flowers, bamboo, chrysanthemum flowers, and eagles are the most common objects.

Lantern paintings: Some iron paintings are especially made to decorate lanterns. One such lantern usually has 4 – 6 iron paintings put together with a white background made of paper or silk. When a candle is lit, the combined effect of iron pictures and colors is spectacular.

Screens: Screens are often made with 6 – 8 iron paintings put together to show a complete, large landscape.

A maverick blacksmith called Tang Tianchi invented iron paintings in the Qing dynasty. Tang was born in Lishui, Jiangsu province, and moved to Wuhu, Anhui province with his family when he was young. There, he became a blacksmith and made iron flowers for his customers.

Soon Tang was tired of just making iron flowers and wanted to do something big. He decided to use his skills to make paintings that looked like Chinese ink paintings but were made out of iron.

He obviously had a great idea, but there were some difficulties he had to get over in the beginning. Because he did not have the skills of a professional painter, the items he made were only bad imitations of Chinese ink paintings. To solve this problem, he started to learn from a local master painter called Xiao Chimu. He learned a lot of techniques that he could apply to the new art he wanted to create. He worked very hard, and finally he succeeded in this daring endeavor.

An iron painting is created using the strokes of a hammer and wrought iron. A series of steps that include smelting, forging, drilling, and filling are required to complete a single piece.

Nowadays iron paintings are very popular with art fans around the world. Like traditional paintings, they can be used to decorate rooms in a unique way. Chinese government officials who travel to other countries like to give them to their hosts. Chu Yangqing, the most famous iron painter in the 20th century, made an iron picture called “Yin Ke Song,” and it’s to be placed in the Great Hall of the People.

When you are in Beijing, find some gorgeous iron paintings in many of the city’s local shops. If you are not familiar with the city, find a tour guide to help you. This person can also offer you information on the products you want to buy.