Po Chu-I (772-846), the famous T'ang poet, during his exile, composed the P'ip'a hsing poem "The Lute Song," which became so popular that it generated many imitations and parodies in literature in the following dynasties. The story was then transformed from sad ambience to a very romantic flavor when the Yuan dramatist Ma Chih-yuan (ca. 1250-1323) remade the poem into his drama Ch'ing-shan lei(Tears on the Blue Garment). Many narrative paintings were based on the P'I-p'a hsing, especially in the Ming and Ch'ing periods. Woodblock prints illustrating the Ch'ing-shan lei story also came out in different publications during the Ming dynasty. The two different media of painting and book illustration influenced each other in many different ways. Even the drama performance affected the depiction of the stories. This study will first investigate the "text" for the narrative in paintings and woodblock prints. The second and the third parts will then discuss how the stories were depicted and changed in the two different media. By analyzing different representations of the narrative, it will shed some light on the special achievements of Ming and Ch'ing painters and printers. The fourth part will discuss how drama performance and book illustration may have contributed to the making of paintings, especially the P'I-p'a hsing paintings of the Ch'ing dynasty. By doing so, this study hopes to elucidate the complex relations between these different but related texts, their depictions in different media, and the transformation of the literature as well as the visual arts.
|Published - 2003