dragon: fly the friendly skies

Up in smoke. It’s the jeer of the dragon. That charming scaly fellow. In Western iconography, the dragon, generally speaking, is a writhing symbol of evil, even of the Devil himself. But to the Chinese it is a benevolent heavenly spirit, a defender of humankind. The cloud-borne dragons below are from a scroll painted by the Sung artist Ch’en Jung about 1235-1240.

---The Nine Dragons by Chen Rong, is a large ink on paper scroll influenced heavily by Daoist philosophy. By the artists admission in the poetry accompanying the work, Nine Dragons was painted wile Chen Rong was intoxicated. Indeed the rough work on the piece was reportedly done with the artists own hat dipped in ink, with the fine details done with a traditional calligrapher’s brush. The significance of the work in terms of artistic technique is in the increasable animation of the figures and landscape elements in the scroll. The waves and clouds seem more than just tangible, but in motion. Likewise, the dragons seem active and playful in a way not seen prior to this work. The scroll is also very significant in terms of the Daoist philosophy behind it.--- Read More:http://www.stolaf.edu/courses/2004sem1/Art_and_Art_History/259/ArtsChina/9dragons.html

“Dragons Among Clouds and Waves” from The Nine Dragon Scroll,
by Ch’en Jung of Sung China.
Ch’en Jung was of the Ch’an school of painting.
He was an administrator and provincial governor in Fukien
who worked at land reclamation.
“He was admired for his habits as a confirmed drunkard.
He made clouds by splashing ink on his pictures,
for mists he spat out water …”

Read More:http://www.valdostamuseum.org/hamsmith/Turner.html

Hermes envisioned a Great Dragon,
named Poimandres, the Mind of the Universe,
whose wings stretched across the sky
and from whose body Light streamed in all directions,
in the midst of which Light there was a great darkness,
a mysterious watery substance with a smokelike vapor. Read More:http://www.valdostamuseum.org/hamsmith/Turner.html

---Raphael St. Michael Trampling the Dragon 1518 Read More:http://artandopinion.tumblr.com/post/1020445761/raphael-st-michael-trampling-the-dragon

Dao. Day-O. Here they fly and they want to go home. In the far East passion has no place in higher religion, so that levitating saints are more tranquil, like Chinese saints they walk among the clouds in converse with the immortal spirits. It gets pretty crowded up there. Quite a queue in line to meet with the Dragon, but when it comes to union with the divine, the heavy body of humanity is an obstacle. Flying with dragons is not that impossible a feat since for many Oriental sages, all the material world is an illusion and only the spiritual is real. Ch’iu Kai: When the Mind becomes One, then material objects offer no resistance.


---Even when Rubens does it....and does it impressively....the idea of treating St. George exclusively as a hero seems lacking.---Read More:http://uncleeddiestheorycorner.blogspot.com/2010/10/st-george-and-dragon-what-does-it-mean.html

In China, the dragon is a personification of the energy of the universe or Dao. Daoist practitioners constantly strive to gain a realization of the Dao. The dragons are elusive, blending in and out of the clouds emulates the meditation experience, in which one strives to clear the mind of all thought, but as soon as a person realizes that they have attained this state, the very realization is a thought, which removes them from that state. Therefore, the state of non-thought is said to be like seeing a dragon, for as soon as one catches a faint glimpse, it disappears, perhaps to appear again unexpectedly for a brief moment, or perhaps never to be seen again. This is emulated superbly in the scroll as one views each scene.Read More:http://www.stolaf.edu/courses/2004sem1/Art_and_Art_History/259/ArtsChina/9dragons.html

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