Gu Kaizhi

essay will seek to analyze the life and artwork of Gu Kaizhi so as to present to the reader a more complete biographical and technical understanding of the man and his artwork as well as to impress upon the reader the total contributions and levels of expertise that this artist exhibited.
Born in 344 AD, Gu Kaizhi’s brief 62 years of life saw the development and growth of one of the most talented and prolific Chinese artists that had lived up until that point in time. Gu was born into a rather noble family and was subsequently schooled in a variety of art forms to include military training, literature, poetry, calligraphy, and music. Such a privileged life helped him to experience an exceptionally well rounded education that many other artists did not have the pleasure of. Although skilled in many artforms and able to express himself within the art of poetry at a very young age, Gu turned to the medium of artwork in the form of paintings by the age of 20 (364 AD). It was at this point that Gu began a long and storied career that would see him be named the father of Chinese artwork. Though such a title is of course a bit of stretch as talented artists existed long before him, the fact of the matter is that he had a profound and lasting effect on the way that artwork was defined and practiced within China. Additionally, his incorporation of traditional Chinese virtues, stories, characters, and motifs helped to endear him to subsequent generations of artists that began to see his work not only as indicative of high art but exemplification of traditional Chinese art as a function of culture.
Due to the historical record at that time, it is nearly impossible to verify some of the stories that exist regarding Gu as he began to embark upon his career as an artist. However, regardless of the voracity of some of these anecdotes, they have nonetheless continued to exist and provide the reader with useful insights into both the merits of Gu’s artwork as well as