The Four Arts of the Chinese scholar

To be a gentleman of the arts, a scholar is to be an artist. According to the literati, four arts are essential components of classical training: 1) musical instruments 2) board games 3) calligraphy and 4) painting. The arts train one's strength in reason, creation, expression and sharpness of the mind. the sixteenth century experienced a growing complexity as an increasingly cultured life reflected this growth. stability and refined tastes supported a society rich with artists and craftsmen. An influx of foreigners brought trade and increasing affluence amongst merchants allowing independence from the court and the official class.