The strange painting in the Palace Museum, visitors at first sight are ‘give up’: Stand 3m away to understand the author’s intention!

Deep and profound is one of the prominent features in Chinese literature and art throughout many historical periods. This can be clearly seen in many works of Tang poetry familiar to Vietnamese readers such as The Yellow Crane Tower sent Manh Haoran to Quang Lang, Inspiration, Resentment, but sparing words but “the idea in foreign language”.

Ancient Chinese painting also did this. Many folk paintings have only a few strokes but contain many deep meanings, there are monumental royal paintings with hundreds of characters and then when zoomed in close-up, many interesting details can be realized.

These paintings often need to be viewed for a long time, pondered over the historical context and learned about the author to understand the true value. The painting “One group harmony map” in the Palace Museum (Beijing) is also such a unique work!

Nhat group harmony map – Draw 1 out 3

“Nhat Doan Harmony Map” (roughly translated: Peaceful harmony) is a 48.7cmx36cm painting painted by Emperor Minh Hien Tong (1447-1487) of the Ming Dynasty. At first glance, you can see a painting of a Maitreya sitting cross-legged, smiling face, round body.

The strange painting in the Palace Museum, visitors at first sight are all helpless: Stand 3m away to understand the author's meaning!  - Photo 1.

Panorama of the calligraphy painting “Nhat Doan Hoa Hoa Map” (Photo: Sohu)

Follow Buddhist scripturesMaitreya is a bodhisattva who attained complete enlightenment, taught the Buddhadharma, and taught sentient beings, which led many viewers to think that “The First Team Harmony Map” is a painting praising Buddhism, but that’s not all!

If you stand a few steps away and admire the whole picture, visitors of the Palace Museum can recognize in this painting not only Maitreya but three characters. Maitreya’s face was actually created from the side angles of two other men.

The one on the left wears a Taoist crown, the one on the right wears a Chinese Confucian square bun, showing that these are two figures representing Taoism and Confucianism. Along with Buddhism, these two schools of religion and philosophy are considered as the Three Religions with profound influence in China and other countries influenced by Chinese cultural background.

The strange painting in the Palace Museum, visitors at first sight are all helpless: Stand 3m away to understand the author's meaning!  - Photo 2.

Minh Hien Tong drew 3 characters in the picture at the same time, including 1 Maitreya, 1 Taoist and 1 Confucianist.

True to the title of the painting, the three characters in the picture have a very rhythmic interaction, while the Taoist and Confucian need to share a scripture, look straight and smile, Maitreya gently puts his hand on his shoulder. They, in their right hand, hold a Buddhist rosary.

The unique and creative composition of the painting cleverly expresses the desire for the harmony of the Three Religions in society from the perspective of author Minh Hien Tong.

Inspiration from a legend

Picture “The First Team Harmony Map” completed by Minh Hien Tong when he was only 18 years old, when he was still a crown prince. Many experts believe that the idea of ​​​​the painting was inspired by Minh Hien Tong’s three characters in the classic “Three laughters by the Tiger slot”.

Legend has it that Master Hue Vien lived at a mountain temple for more than 30 years without setting foot outside, refusing all contact with people. When there were guests to visit, when leaving, the Master only saw off his feet to the Ho Khe stream bridge in front of the temple and then returned.

The strange painting in the Palace Museum, visitors at first sight are all helpless: Stand 3m away to understand the author's meaning!  - Photo 3.

Not only in painting, the legend “Three laughters by the Tiger slot” is also reproduced on many ceramic masterpieces (Photo: Internet)

Once, two famous people, Confucianist Dao Tien and Daoist Luc Tu Tinh, came to see him. Because of the fun conversation, when taking guests out, the master suddenly stepped out of the Ho Khe stream bridge without realizing it. At that moment, the sun suddenly shone, silhouetted against the mountainside. The three seemed to wake up, stood looking at each other and laughed, then said goodbye.

The story from the Tang Dynasty is said to be unfounded because the living times of Hue Vien and the other two thinkers are different, but this story still shows excellently the “three religions of the same age” thought. in Chinese culture.

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