What is the difference between Four Gentlemen and Four Treasures? Four Gentlemen in Sumi art (traditional Chinese painting) refer to four fundamental subjects representing four seasons and different group of flowers/plants. They are Chinese orchid (Spring), bamboo (Summer),chrysanthemum (Fall) and plum blossom (Winter). They not only represent four seasons but also have symbolic meanings. It is a tradition for students to start Sumi painting by learning how to paint the Four Gentlemen, and then they can apply the skills and techniques learned to paint all other flowers, plants, fruits and vegetables. The Four Treasures usually refer to the four basic and "Must" materials for Sumi art. In Chinese-they are Bi- brush, Mo- Ink Stick, Zhi- Rice Paper, Yan- Ink Stone. Quality Four Treasures are the base for creating good Sumi art. But good practice (with correct concepts, good habits) makes great art.
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