Liu Songnian (about 1155 - 1218), a native of Qiantang (now Hangzhou of Zhejiang Province), is a famous imperial painter ranked among ‘Four Masters of the Southern Song Dynasty’. He is an expert in capturing essence of figures and landscapes in paintings. His paintings span a broad range of contents, some portraying the nature’s beautiful scenery, some reflecting the injustice of the society, some serving as a compliment to national heroes and some showing his political opinions etc.
Liu Songnian is primarily a figure painter, with protagonists in most of his figure paintings portrayed in great detail with vivid expressions and drape patterns in clothes clear to see, and often placed close to the spectator in the picture plane. His focus on capturing details is further presented in his landscape paintings. Most of his landscape paintings are characterized by bright colors and elegance and the scenery of West Lake has always been his favourite, usually portrayed along with dense forests and erect bamboo. One of his representative landscape paintings - Landscape of Four Seasons, deals with just the fascinating sceneries of lakes and mountains of Hangzhou as well as scholars’ leisure and comfortable life.
The sun is shining and the autumn wind is just right. In such good weather, it is a good idea to travel back in time in the Hangzhou Confucius Temple. Here, you can cultivate your mind and soul. In the temple, tablets can be seen everywhere, positioning people instantly in the ancient seat of learning in the capital city of the Southern Song Dynasty. Here, you can stop and appreciate the ancient moss-covered stone tiles, which seems to narrate the thousands-of-year history of the Confucius Temple.