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(6,300 words)

Author(s): Toyka-Fuong, Ursula
1. Historical Development The oldest preserved ink painting on silk roughly dates back to the mid-1st millennium BCE. A multicolored painting on a silk coffin cover from 172 BCE depicts a "body portrait" of the deceased, surrounded by entwined dragons and mystical creatures. During the course of the Han dynasty (206 BCE to 220 CE), burial chambers were decorated with mural paintings that showed scenes of daily life. The style of these colored ink murals is full of verve and is proof of a highly dev…