Huizhou in ancient times incorporated contemporary Huangshan City in Anhui Province and Wuyuan County in Jiangxi Province. As decorative carvings in the constructions of ancient Huizhou during the Ming and Qing Dynasties, Three Types of Huizhou Carving are featured by strong flavors of local culture.
Three Types of Huizhou Carving is a general term for brick carving, stone carving and wood carving. All of the three are folk artistic carvings of Huizhou styles. Three Types of Huizhou Carving finds the best representatives in She County, Yi County and Wuyuan County, where carvings are also well preserved. Three Types of Huizhou Carving is mainly used to decorate constructions such as civilian dwellings, ancestral halls, temples, and gardens. Besides, it can also be located in antique-style furniture, screens, pencil vases, and compotes.
According to historical records, ancient Huizhou was established as an administrative county in 208 A.D. (the 13th year during Jian’an Era in the Eastern Han Dynasty). Hitherto, it enjoys a long history of nearly 2000 years. At the foot of Huangshan Mountain, it is situated at the juncture of three provinces including Anhui, Zhejiang and Jiangxi. With beautiful natural scenery, it is an auspicious place which has witnessed the birth of numerous great celebrities. It has always been famous both at home and abroad, for both the large number of merchants and literary prosperity.
The development of Huizhou merchants contributed to boosting culture and education, thus giving rise to Huizhou cultural school. As one of the three major schools in China, Huizhou School incorporated Xin'an Rationalism, Xin'an Medicine, Plain Learning of Hui School, Xin'an Painting School, Woodcut of Hui School, Seal Cutting of Huizhou, Architecture of Hui School, and Huizhou Carvings. In the context of booming Huizhou culture, Three Types of Huizhou Carving was gradually fostered and developed. It was a masterpiece of skillful craftsmen.
In perfect consistency with the entire architecture, Three Types of Huizhou Carving is very impressive for its exquisite layout, smart structure, beautiful decoration, delicate construction, and deep connotation. Be it wood carving, brick carving, or stone carving, multiple techniques are jointly adopted, including relievo, openwork carving, circular carving, and line cutting. The carvings reveal how Chinese techniques of architectural decorative carving have been passed down since the Han and Tang Dynasties. In the meantime, they have also reflected the influence on Huizhou styles of architectural decorative carving, exerted by other artistic genres within Huizhou culture such as Xin’an Painting School, Woodcut of Hui School, Seal Cutting of Huizhou, Huizhou Inkstone Carving, and Inked Mould Carving.
Three Types of Huizhou Carving boasts a wide range of subjects, mainly including folklores, plays, flowers, birds, auspicious animals, dragons, lions, horses, deer, places of interest, natural scenery, folk conventions, fishing, wood-gathering, farming, reading, the Eight Immortals and their props, as well as paintings about antique utensils.
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