A new UK exhibition features several centuries of Chinese painting. The Culture Show looks at the history of one of the greatest cultural traditions.
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Chinese painting is one of the world’s oldest continuous artistic traditions – and so innovative that it was centuries ahead of the European art movement.

The general public’s knowledge of this tradition has been limited. But at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, a new exhibition entitled Masterpieces of Chinese Painting – the first of its kind in the UK since 1935 – will attempt to bring knowledge of this history to a wider audience.

The Culture Show’s Kate Bryan highlights the importance of the V&A’s show. She travels to China to view the caves at Mogao to discover the world’s oldest and largest collection of Buddhist paintings. And she reveals that painting in China – once viewed as a lowly artisan trade – was transformed into a revered artistic endeavour.

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