The Origin and Development of Chinese Traditional Screens

Qianlong Period, Qing Dynasty

The origin of the screen

  ”Wuyuan” said: “Yu Zuoping.” Although this is early, there is no evidence to prove it. “Three Litu” said, “The name of the screen comes from the Han Dynasty, so Ban Guzhi’s book talks a lot about it.” Although this statement is valid, there are earlier records. “Historical Records of Mencius and Monarchs” contains “Mengsijun’s sitting words to the guests, and there is often a history of servants after the screen, the main records of the monarch and the guest words” records, we can know that the name of the screen has been in the Warring States Period. The use of screens began as early as the Western Zhou Dynasty. However, there was no name for the screen at the time, but it was called “di” or “axe”. “Zhou Li · Tuzai · Zhang Ji”: “Set the emperor’s mansion.” Di means the screen. The imperial mansion is a screen decorated with painted phoenix patterns. The screen can also be referred to as the “screen” or “seat”, which refers to the screen set behind the royal seat. “Shang Shu Gu Ming”: “Di She converts.” “Book of Rites”: “The emperor sets the axe between the households.” Zheng Xuan notes: “Yi, now the Su-Fun screen also has embroidered axe pattern. “Han Zhuan Zhuan Zhuan”: “Negative conversion.” “Shi Gu Note”: “White and black paintings are like the axe pattern, and according to the reading, the shape of the screen is curved, and the painting is There is a pattern between Zhang Yuhu and Zhang Yuhu. “Volume Three of the Three Rituals, Sijiyu said:” Several views of the dynasty, shooting in the township, where the vassals of the kingdom are designated, the throne is set to convert (the conversion is the same as the ax ). “The system is made of wood, framed with cymbals, painted with axe pattern, white near the blade, and black near the sclera. It is called the Golden Axe. The old picture cloud is eight feet wide, and the axe has no handle. In fact, it not only has the effect of shielding the wind, but also a very sophisticated furnishing. By the Warring States Period, the production of screens had reached a high level of art. Although the lacquer sitting screen unearthed from the Chu tomb of the Warring States Period in Xinyang, Henan, although it is a burial burial instrument, the level of production skills and craftsmanship is amazing. The screen base is coiled by a few buckles, the workmanship is smooth and natural, and the decoration of colorful paint is very vivid.

The screens in “Characters of the wise women” The screens of the Han Dynasty In the Han Dynasty, the use of screens was more common, and screens were set up by people with wealth and status. According to “Xijing Miscellaneous Notes”: “When Emperor Han Wen was the prince, Li Si Yin Yuan recruited guests. There are six halls in the garden, and the guest houses are all high-rises. The screens are very beautiful.” The form has been increased and changed from the previous generation. In addition to the single fan screen, there are multiple curved screens, also called continuous screens or stacked fan screens. At this time, the screen is often used in combination with a bed. For example, the screen of the Han Dynasty stone statues in Zhucheng, Shandong, with matching beds and mattresses placed in the middle. There are two sides and three sides, and there are multiple fans and two sides. On both sides stand a fan behind the bed, and then fold the fan into a right angle to block one end of the bed. Three sides are used to stand a fan on the back of the bed, one on the left and the other on the left, and two on both sides, that is, the back is surrounded by two or three fans, one folded at a right angle, and the other on the side of the bed. There are also arms mounted on the screen. For example, the screen on the portrait stone in Anqiu, Shandong, and the weapon rack on the right side behind it are used to place swords and other weapons. There is another one, which is the same length as the bed and is placed behind you. For example, the mural screens of the Eastern Han Dynasty Tombs in Gansu and Linger are not high, and they are small screens.的 Among the objects unearthed in recent years, the lacquer screen unearthed from the Mawangdui Tomb in Changsha is the most typical. The screen has a black face and a back, and the front is painted with a cloud pattern. The body is vivid and natural. On the vermilion ground on the back, light green prismatic geometric patterns are painted, with a grain-shaped jade ridge in the center, surrounded by wide prism-shaped colorful edges. Two notched wooden brackets are installed under the lower frame to ensure that the screen is upright. The pottery screens unearthed from the Tomb of the Western Han Dynasty in Luoyang also belong to this category. Screens are generally used indoors and occasionally outdoors, but they are rare. There is a larger screen, which is designed to shield the door, and is relatively fixed. It is called “tree”. There are also screens called “Saimen” or “Xiao Wall”. “Eriya • Palace”: “screen, the tree.” “Book of Rites • Miscellaneous”: “Tree, Ping Ye, Li Ping should be the way to cover the inside and the outside.” “Tianzi outside the screen, princes inside Screen. “Zheng Xuan’s note:” The screen is called the tree, and today I also have it. ” The name of Xun has a long history, and it gradually disappeared when Wang Mang was. At that time, people often interpreted tadpoles as “rethinking.” After Wang Mang usurped the government, he changed the country’s title to “new” and ordered the removal of the Hanling Cricket, which meant that people would not think about Han also.屏 Most of the screens used indoors are made of wood, while the screens used outdoors are not many. In order to withstand wind and rain erosion, earth and stone are often used. The effect is the same as the shadow and picture walls we see today. Jin Cuibao’s “Ancient and Modern Annotations” contains: “Hey, there is also a picture of the screen, and the house outside the door is familiar. When the court comes to the prince, he will be home outside the door, and he will be more familiar with what to do.” When people walk outside the screen, they pause for a moment and think again. There is a screen shelter here. Once you get around the screen, you have to deal with it and have no time to think. Therefore, when the door is screened, the first can shield the wind and the light, the second adds indoor furnishings, and the third draws a special place for visitors, giving people a place to think and prepare. During the Han Dynasty, the screens were painted with wooden boards and painted. After the invention of the paper, paper was used more, and various fairy and other beasts were painted on it. “The Book of Later Han Dynasty Song Hong Biography” said; “Hong Dangyan sees, sits on a new screen, draws pictures of women, and the emperor looks at it. Hongzheng allows to say: ‘If you don’t see good virtues like lusts, the emperor will withdraw them.'” This screen is generally composed of multiple fans, each of which is connected by a button, which can be folded and is relatively light. Personal screen. Four fans are called four songs, and six fans are called six songs. There are also multiple panoramic screens. The screen is also carved with through-holes, and a wooden carved colored paint base screen was unearthed from the tomb of Chu in Xinyang, Henan. This type of screen is mostly made of wood, with a strong three-dimensional pattern carved in the middle, which is a pure decorative screen. In the Han Dynasty, such screens were still very popular. The “Sansuke Finale” contains: “He Chang is Runan Prince Guard, Zhang Dinan travels through the county, and there is a carved screen for the emperor.” There is also a smaller screen called “Sit Separated”, mostly for Single fan noodles. The “Post-Hanshu Book” describes this screen: “When Zheng Hong was a captain, Wulun was regarded as Sikong. After the shift was underway, every time Zheng Shuo met, Hong Qu bowed inferiority, and he asked why he knew it. The mica screen divides it. “” Three Kingdoms • Book of Wu “contains:” When Emperor Jingjing, Ji Liang was the Shang Shuling, and the son-in-law was the Zhong Shuling. At each dynasty meeting, He was separated by a screen. “These two records can help us. Learn more about the use of screens at the time.


Screens from the Wei, Jin to Sui, Tang, and Five Dynasties From the Wei, Jin to Sui, Tang, and Five Dynasties, the use of screens was more common than previous generations. Not only the room furnishings, but also the small screens are attached to the side of the daily use of the mat and bed. This type of screen is usually three. The screen frames are connected by buttons. When a person sits at the table, the screen is opened, one on the left, one on the right, and one on the back. You can also see the screen used at that time in “Biography of the Legend of the Women” by Gu Kai in the Eastern Jin Dynasty. The screen in the picture is three fans, depicting the landscape of Tongjing. This three-panel screen does not need to be installed separately. In addition to furnishing, the screen at this time is more important to shield the wind. During the Northern and Southern Dynasties, such screens began to develop in high dimensions, and the number also increased. “South History • Biography of Wang Yuanru”: “The screen flexes and follows the custom, Liang Xiao Ziyun flies the white book screen twelve times.” The folding screen is mainly characterized by its lightness and convenience, but the single-screen screen is not. The vertical wooden seat is supported, otherwise it cannot be upright. Due to its stability, its position in the interior furnishings is relatively fixed. The screens of calligraphy and painting prevailed during the Sui, Tang, and Five Dynasties. History books and paintings at that time were frequently recorded. The “New Tang Book · Wei Zhengzhuan” contains: “The emperor sparsely listed on the banner as a barrier.” The “New Tang Book · Li Zhuan” records: “Li Yuanyuan and the second year as a bachelor, Xian Zongming and Cui Qun, Qian Hui, Wei Hongjing, Bai Juyi, etc., searched for 50 successes and failures of the monarchs and princes, which are consecutive screens. “” Old Age and Four Years, Fourteen Chronicles of the Imperial Monarchs and Books, and Six Screens. ” There are pictures on it, you can display them at will. This is not the case on one side. There is no limit to the number of such screens, which can be increased as needed. In Ning Taohu’s “Qing Yi Lu”, during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period, Hou Shu Meng Zhixiang made seventy paintings on the screen, connected with movable buttons, and displayed at will. In his later years, he was often used as a dormitory, which was referred to as the screen palace.


The screens of the Song, Liao, Jin, and Yuan dynasties 资料 The screens of the Song dynasty screens have little information, but there are many image data. For example, the screen in the Song Dynasty painting “Wuyin Qingxian” is wider on four sides and framed by dwarfs and horizontal lines, which are divided into grids. The panels are lined with relief lines and the center of the screen depicts landscapes. The skirt is inlaid under the screen, the carved edge is upright, and there is a pier under it. The screen in Li Gonglin’s Picture of Gao Hui Xueqin is the same type as the screen in Fan Zhongyan’s image. The wide frame, the whole body is plain, without any decoration, the skirt board cuts out the pot door hole, there are standing teeth on both sides, and the base and the screen frame are made of wood. Judging from the screen, they are all scenes for outdoor use. It is presumed that this type of screen is paper silk paper, and it will not be too heavy. The use of screens was also manifested in the tombs of the Song Dynasty. The mural painting “Sit Sitting” in the Song Tomb of Yuxian County, Henan, depicts the couple sitting and drinking tea during their lifetime. The two were seated on a reclining chair with a screen behind them. This type of furnishing is mainly used to show the status and identity of the owner. The shape of the screen is not large and it is a single fan. From the proportion of the characters on the screen, the height is roughly the same as the standing person. It is estimated that it is also a portable thing that is set up with use. The larger screen image should be represented by the Song Dynasty’s “Patriarch Figure”, with the screen center as the sole fan. From the proportion of the characters in the screen, the shape is huge. The inside of the wooden frame is wide with rhombus, and the screen is full of hexagonal turtle back brocade, which is much longer than the couch set in front of the screen. The screen in Song Liunian’s “Arhats” consists of three fans, the middle fan is slightly larger, and the side fan is slightly narrower. It is folded forward to a certain angle and is in the shape of an “eight”, which can stand upright by itself. This kind of physical information includes the image of the Virgin in the colorful sculptures of the Jinci Temple in Datong, Shanxi. The Virgin sits on the throne of phoenix pattern and stands behind three screens of sea pattern. The screen fan is wide, the fans on both sides are slightly narrow and slightly retracted forward. It is in the shape of an “eight”. This type of furnishing originates from the “axiyi” in the Shang and Zhou dynasties. This form remained in the imperial palace until the Ming and Qing Dynasties.

Song Songnian’s “Arhat Pictures” There are also many examples in archeological excavations. The Song Dynasty stone screens unearthed in Chengxian County, Henan Province are typical. The screen frame is surrounded by thin lines, and the lower part has crossbars for additional reinforcement. Plain surface with undercuts. In terms of shape, the screen behind the mural tomb owner of the Song tomb in Yuxian County, Henan Province belongs to a category. Under the rung, two sides are engraved with flowers, one side is engraved with small flowers and pomegranate, and the other side is engraved with hibiscus flowers. Two wooden screens unearthed from the Golden Tomb of Datong, Shanxi, poplar wood, 116 cm high, base 38.7 cm high, screen width 38.3 cm. It consists of a moire base and a rectangular screen frame. Inside the frame is a checkered frame, two sides of which are covered with silk, and then writing and painting. Only fragments are left. The screen frame is provided with two screen bases, which are opened in the base, and the screen is inserted into the mouth to stand upright. There are four stone seats unearthed from the Song Tomb of Yandianzhuang Village, Fangcheng, Henan. The patterns on both sides are rolled up, with a rectangular gap in the middle. It is 9.5 cm high and the excavation report does not explain the purpose. Compared with the base of the Tao Yingping unearthed from the tomb of the Wang Qing Dynasty in the Baimahe Yuan Dynasty in Datong, Shanxi, it can be concluded that it is a base specifically designed for erection. The screens painted in the murals of Yu Yin’s tomb in the Jin Dynasty in the Gaotang of Shandong are also decorated with exquisite peony patterns. In addition to the tomb unearthed from the tomb of Wang Qing in the Yuan Dynasty, there is also a wooden shadow screen unearthed from the tomb of Feng Daozhen in Datong. Lath board, the lower part of the screen body is divided into two compartments with two compartments, coated with dark brown paint, and covered with tung oil. In the Song dynasty, the style of screens and decorations, especially the division of small cells in the screen frame, was still widely used in the Ming dynasty.

明 黄花梨砚屏

Ming and Qing Dynasties Screens Before the Song Dynasty, the screens were mostly practical, followed by decoration. In the Ming Dynasty, screens were not only practical furniture, but also an indispensable decoration for the interior. The screens of the Ming Dynasty can be divided into two types: screens for screens and screens for curved screens. The screen is divided into multiple fan combinations and single fan screens. Multi-seat screens consist of a combination of three, or three, or five, up to nine, all in the singular. Each leaf is connected with a living tenon and can be disassembled at any time. There are long dowel pins under the screen, which are inserted into the holes in the seat surface. The base is mostly an “eight” shape, the middle one is taller and slightly wider, and the two side fans are slightly retracted inward, so that the screen stands firm. The screen seat is mostly of Xu Mi style, with relief lotus petals underneath, embossed waist, and covered lotus petals under relief. Here, the Yanglian and Covered Lotus, also known as the upper and lower “Badama”, often described in the archives of the Batama screen. Badama screen is usually centered with a fan, and then hung on both sides. A fan in the middle is slightly taller, decreasing on both sides, with standing teeth on both sides of the side fan. Screen caps are installed on the top and connected with tenons respectively. It not only increases the firmness of the screen, but also plays an ideal decorative role. There are also many decorative methods in the center of the screen frame, including woodcarved landscape pavilions, lacquered inlays of tree and stone flowers, and gold lacquered or reddish red. Due to its large size, the screen is relatively fixed. Most of the palaces are placed in the main hall of the palace. There are thrones, incense tables, and palace fans in the front, creating an atmosphere of imperial power. There are not many such screens passed down from the Ming Dynasty. We can see the images of such screens in the paintings of the time, such as the image of Ming Xuanzong and Ming Shizong.

Early Qing Dynasty Huanghuali’s dragon-shaped screen. There was a single screen in the screen of the pedestal. A single screen frame was inserted on a special base. The base is made of two pieces of longitudinal wood. An upright column in the middle, with standing teeth on both sides. There is a transverse cymbal connection between the two columns, with a carved cymbal ring plate in the middle, also called a fish gill plate. Generally carved on both sides, if the screen frame is thicker and the transverse cymbal is wider, then the cymbal ring plate must be inlaid with two pieces of water between the two piers. The upper section of the two uprights is left with a certain length, and an arc-shaped groove is dug in the inside. The screen frame is aligned with the groove and inserted, so that the lower side of the screen frame falls on the horizontal bar, and the screen frame is integrated with the base. There are large and small screens, and the larger ones can be used to block the door. The second is to insert a screen for the case, and it is usually placed on the larger case in the hall or hall. There is also a small plug-in screen, which is no more than 20 cm in length and width. It belongs to the small utensils in the living room and study, commonly known as “plug-in screen”.屏 The screen is a kind of movable furniture, and generally uses double numbers. At least two, up to dozens. Each fan is connected with a pin hook, and some are connected with a silken paper. It is usually folded and stored, and it is taken out and opened when used. The outstanding feature is light and convenient. These screens are often framed with lighter wood. Pingxin uses paper silk for papering, and draws or embroiders a variety of landscapes, flowers and feathers, and stories of people everywhere. Some frame celebrity calligraphy and painting, calligraphy, and poetry in the center of the screen for easy taste and appreciation at any time. There are also a variety of pictures carved on wooden boards. It is used to separate the space in the larger hall, and at the same time plays a good decorative role. This screen often plays the role of large-scale calligraphy, painting and other albums, and is deeply appreciated by literati and bureaucrats.

The Qianlong period of the Qing Emperor’s Red Sandalwood was inlaid with a large treasure screen. The form of the screen in the Qing Dynasty basically followed the Ming style, but the decoration technique was more developed than the Ming Dynasty. In addition to paper silk or embroidered screens, the lacquered screens are in various forms such as carved lacquer, painted, engraved ash, piled ash, carved fill, literary painting gold, hidden gold painting and other forms. Wood carving screens are mainly screens. There are two types of workmanship: one is inlaying a heart with a wooden board and engraving the pattern directly on the core; the other is carving an insert with small pieces of wood and then inserting many small pieces. Spliced ​​into the heart of the board. Inlaid screens or wooden or lacquered ground, first grooved according to the pattern requirements on the lacquered or wooden ground, and then insert various texture inserts into the groove to form various patterns. Mosaic materials include jade and Luodian, ivory, animal bones, bamboo and wood products, various metals and porcelain products. This type of screen is displayed in the hall, which is quite gorgeous, and often the most elegant furniture in the hall.扆, axe 扆, or writing “conversion”, is the screen behind the ancient constellation of constellation, and in the Zhou dynasty, it was a special instrument for the emperor. It uses wood as a frame, and pastes it with axe patterns. The axe-shaped near-blade is painted white, and the rest is painted black. This is a symbol of the name and rights of the emperor. In addition, when Zhou Tianzi was in the winter solstice festival, he had “built an imperial mansion” behind the screen-the screen. This screen “is decorated with Fenghuang feather”.