Biwan Window: The “breathing” of ancient buildings

East Han Ling -shaped Window Crystal Author/Photo Conferry


“Who is the folding flower screen?” In ancient Chinese classical poems, there are too many literary works with the theme of “window screens”. The special hazy beauty contained in the “window screen” seems to be extensive in love with the implicit restraint of Chinese traditional literati, which has always been widely loved.


When it comes to window screens, you must first have a window. In the Neolithic era, the ancient ancestors improved from the acupoints and the half -hole residence to the beginning of the construction of ground buildings. Due to the needs of lighting, moisture -proof and ventilation, they may slowly build windows. It is difficult to find the relics of early windows.

Entering the national stage of civilization, large palace buildings have appeared in various civilizations. Judging from archeological discovery, the volume of these buildings is generally huge, so there will be windows on it, but the size and shape of the window are difficult to verify for the time being. Fortunately, due to the better preservation of Hebei’s Tanchengtai site in the middle of the Shang Dynasty, because of the good preservation, there was a vent on the “wind windows” traces of ventilation on the walls of F3, F4 and F6. Among them, the F6 is a large building base. The “wind window” on the east and west rooms of the north room is 45 cm and 23 cm wide. This is probably the earliest window of archeological discovery.

It can be seen from the literature record that the ancients’ names in the current sense are “牖”. For example, in “Lao Tzu”, there is “I don’t know the world without leaving the house, don’t see the heaven”, “Mencius” has “there is a job on the 牖 牖, the museum seeks it …” “Said the text” said: “Well, the wall is also used by wood as the window.” Duan Yu cut: “The window is handed in, that is, the windows of today. All on the wall are called “牖”, and “window” refers to the sunroof on the roof.

Although archeological excavations have no physical discovery of window pupae, from the shape of the tomb, the pottery room, and the various portrait masonry and mural information, we can understand that the style of the window has a variety of shapes in the late Han Dynasty. It is not only a simple straight -shaped and oblique form, but also more complicated patterns. For example, in the Langya Western Han tomb in Shandong in recent years, a row of straight windows were placed between the coffin and the border compartment. For another example, there is a mural on the north wall of the Eastern Han Tomb of Midi County, Henan Province. There are two boy wearing white crickets and wearing Zhu robes in the north wall of the Eastern Han Dynasty. The complex diamond pattern of the screen layer is like textile patterns. It is obviously the image of the window pupa. It can be seen that this window puppet is very complicated and decorated.

According to literature records, the earliest use of window screens appeared in the Han Dynasty. There is such a record in the novel “Hanwu Cave” made by the East Han Dynasty Guo Xian: “The Emperor’s Demon Temple, calling Oriental to Qingqi window, not separated from the scenes …” Refer to the Han Dynasty From the degree of development of silk weaving and large -scale curtains often used indoor and outside at that time, it was entirely possible to use textiles to cover windows at this time. By the time of the Northern and Southern Dynasties, the word “screen window” was mentioned many times in the literature. The opening of each other. The window sparsely eyebrows, and Saran laughed lightly … “At the same time, Yuxin’s” Dangzi Fu “was also there,” the screens were unique, and Luo’s account was long. Xinzheng didn’t get it, and the flute was ashamed. ” It is confirmed that the window screens were used more in the Southern Dynasties.

Most of the materials are gauze fabrics

The reason why “window screen” is called “window screen” is not difficult to understand that a layer of gauze is placed on the window. According to the explanation of the “Nong Sang series” in the Yuan Dynasty, that is, “Xia Qiu … Window with paper, to avoid flying and covering the atmosphere, the sun is sunny, and the yin is wet. ; The screen window … covering the flies through the atmosphere … “Although here refers to the special silkworm, the benefits of using the use of screens can not only achieve the effect of ventilation, but also cover people’s sight. Also Can block mosquitoes.


Among the materials selected in modern times, this gauze mesh is mostly more durable metal gauze or chemical fibers. In ancient times, it also appeared to be woven by fine bamboo silk. Of course, the most materials used in window screens are textile fabrics. In textile materials, “gauze” refers to the kind of textiles that are more sparsely woven by the latitude and weft. The surface presents small holes. It can be a raw meter, the biggest feature is ventilation and lightness. Due to the larger pores, gauze fabric may be more suitable than other types of fabrics.

Because the “Luo” fabric is used as a window screen material, the screens are often called “Luo Window”. That’s it. There are also “纹” windows with flat -grained fabrics. In Han Yu and Meng Jiao’s “Southern Southern Poetry”, there are sentences of “windows and doubts”. Among the ancient fabrics, the most closest fabric to the “gauze” and “縠”. The difference is that when fabrics are weaved, they use different twisting wire wires as latitude and latitude or adjacent meridians with different twisting lines to configure different twisting intervals, which causes the surface of the fabric to form a ribs and achieve a unique artistic effect. In ancient times, there was indeed a situation where the “縠” fabric was used on the window. It appeared in the poems. Two or three 等 “, etc.

In the Song Dynasty Lu You’s “Lao Xueyu Notes”, Mrs. Shu Huarui had a palace cloud “Red Jin Mud Window around the four corridors”, which shows that there are still cases in history that use Jinjin Window. In fact, we can fully understand that according to different values ​​or aesthetics, it may be very random to choose which kind of fabric to use the fabric. Before the use of gauze fabrics on the window, people must have tried various materials before using gauze fabrics on the window, and after long -term repeated experimental comparison. In this way, the window screen is by no means suddenly produced in a certain period, but the result of a long -term experimental choice. It is just that the process of this experiment is that due to the lack of literature and physical objects, it is no longer available to know. We can only speculate that the appearance of window screens may be in the two men or earlier. It is true that it can only look forward to more archeological discoveries in the future.

Practical function is outstanding

As of the Five Dynasties of the Sui and Tang dynasties, due to the prosperity of poetry, the image of window screens appeared very frequently in literary works. Many poets are willing to describe the window screen, such as the “Board of Window screens under the moonlight, how many fragrances come in”, Bai Juyi’s “painting hall on the third day of March, flip the screen of the screen, wipe the eaves”, Wei Yan’s “sitting alone on the screen window window During embroidery, the bauhinia is 啭 啭 啭 “, and so on.

It is worth pointing out that in addition to ventilation, ancient window screens also have an important practical function. After setting the window screen, the indoor is often darker and the outdoor light is more sufficient. In this case, a unique visual effect is formed. See clearly. In view of this, the use of window screens provides the possibility of communicating with the outside world. In the “Book of Palace Yuan Gui”, when Tang Taizong and his ministers discussed the king’s storage, “the concubine was listed in hundreds of people in the screens.” In particular, the Miss Ms. Son de -screen screening is a bridge section commonly used in literary works. In the Yuan Dynasty’s novel “Grandma” (also known as “Yue Ting Ji”), there was “the champion of the time to the cold house … Please see Mrs. Madam in the screen window …” The screen window here probably refers to the situation in the case. It is used indoors, similar to the Bisha cabinet of the Qing Dynasty.

When it comes to Bisha cabinet, we find an interesting phenomenon that the color of the window screen seems to have always been blue -green from a long time. Why do you use blue -green window screens? We analyze that it may be compared to other colors, blue -green is generally easy to give people a quiet and soothing feeling, especially the screens are often used in summer, and blue -green looks cooler. Furthermore, when the sun is shot into the house, the blue -green screens are filtered, and the house often looks brighter. Perhaps the clever ancient people have also discovered these characteristics very early, so we see from the literature that every time the screen is mentioned, we are called “green screens” and “blue screens”. Until the window screens in the Forbidden City of the Ming and Qing Dynasties, you can also find that you are connected to the outdoor.

Of course, everything is not absolute, and the ancients also used other color window screens. For example, the “Palace Words” of the Tang Dynasty and Ningxin saw “embroidered biased commission in the Red Robin Window, and the sleeve -sleeved jasper cage”; “Four Heads and Li Yishan” by Ke Qian in the Ming Dynasty (second) The skirt stands Xiaofeng, the screen window is painted east “. What people are most familiar with are probably described in “Dream of Red Mansions”. Jia’s mother came to Daiyu’s residence and found that Daiyu’s window screen was a bit old, so people replaced them with a yarn called “soft smoke Luo”. The one named “Xia Yingchang” selected by Daiyu is silver -red, and the red window screen that Baoyu lives is probably the same.

Various decorative techniques

In the Ming and Qing dynasties, the literati and nobles also invented the decoration of gold or painting on the window screen. For example, there is a drama in the “Shengming Miscellaneous Drama”: “I just take the diamond flower to this golden powder screen and learn to comb the palace.” Said: “If this window is made of another screen, it is painted with lamps and birds, and the night bon lamp is inside. It’s no different. “This kind of window screen painted on the top must be beautiful!

Author/Photo Conferry, Author/Photo Conferry

At present, there are still some physical objects in the Qing Dynasty in the Forbidden City, such as the golden window screen used in the Fans in the Ningshou Palace in the Ningshou Palace. Ningshou Palace was built by Emperor Qianlong. According to the system analysis of Wang Yunli, the Palace Museum Wang Yunli, it can be seen that the window screen process is very complicated, and its inner core is woven by mulberry silk, its outer paint is large, and the paint is pasted with gold foil. Various patterns of gold lacquer, the exquisiteness of its exquisiteness!

From the micro -photo of the Fuwang Pavilion window provided by Wang Yunli, we can also see that the fabric characteristics of this window screen are also unique. The organizational structure of the window screen belongs to the two meridians twisted yarn. It is obvious that the weft lines are thick but not twisted. The meridians are fine and twisted. Each masonry line is twisted on the weft line, and each of the latitudes should be twice. Compared with ordinary flat -grained fabrics, the characteristics of this weaving method are that the tissue point of the fabric will be relatively fixed, and it is not easy to slide. The fabric will inevitably be more tough. As a window screen material, it is more powerful when resisting the wind and rain. Not to mention this is an outstanding manifestation of the extraordinary wisdom of the ancient working people in my country. The window screen of the Forbidden City Fuwangge should be said to represent the highest level of ancient window screens in my country.

(Author unit: Institute of Archeology, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences)

Source: China Social Science Network-China Social Sciences Author: Wang Dan

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