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The Iron Picture (Tiehua )
A cross between painting and sculpture, the iron picture is an art probably unique to China.
Reportedly it was first created by Tang Peng (alias Tang Tianchi), a blacksmith who lived in Wuhu of the province of Anhui in the mid 17th century when the Ming was replaced by the Qing Dynasty. Using the anvil as his inkstone and the hammer as his brush, he forged, filed and shaped iron strips and wires into pictures by following the principles of composition of the Chinese painting.
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This art developed by the smith-artist has been handed down and cultivated for three hundred years. The picture in iron is normally
painted black, with or without lustre, which forms a clear contrast with the light coloured wall on which it is hung. The landscapes, flowers and plants represented in iron appeal to viewers with a three dimensional effect of simplicity and boldness rarely found elsewhere.