China is the oldest active civilization on the planet, formally emerging around 2070 BCE. With such a long and beautiful history spanning thousands of years, it only makes sense that the art generated in China during its multiple dynastic cycles are as timeless and elegant as the civilization itself. Chinese art is incredibly diverse and has changed constantly over the millennia as new dynasties have risen and fallen with the mandate of heaven and the nation opened up to outside influence, whether peaceful or imperial. However, one constant through all of Chinese art is the influence of the calligraphic style, which originated in the characters of the written Chinese script. This simple style can be characterized with one phrase—shan shui—which literally translates to “mountain and river.” This timeless painted style, which looks equally at home in the Forbidden City palace of Beijing as in the modern homes of art lovers internationally, illustrates the iconic pastoral landscapes of China with delicate ink brush strokes that look both unencumbered and entirely guided and deliberate all at once. Chinese art is both classical and contemporary at the same time, and we highly recommend it to any art lover.