What is the History and Usage of Chinese Seals (印章/Yin Zhang/Yin Chang: History and Usage)?


The Role of Chinese Seals for Authorization and Display of Privilege

If you have ever seen a work of Chinese art, you have probably noticed small, and sometimes large, red emblems interspersed through the work. These emblems may sometimes appear disruptive, but they are in fact integral to Chinese ideas of authorship and authentication. No work of Chinese calligraphy or painting is complete without the application of the author’s seal.

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What are Types of Chinese Seals and their Application in Chinese Brush Painting and Calligraphy?


Introduction of Chinese Seal Types and their Usage in Chinese Art

The seals applied to Chinese artworks most often fall into three types according to the characters inscribed upon them. If a work has only one seal, it will surely be the name of the artist, his name seal. The other two types are the leisure seal and the studio seal. A leisure seal will most often contain a motto or auspicious saying, while a studio seal, as the name suggests, proclaims the studio of the artist.

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