This paper is a study of Song dynasty panche tu (paintings of traveling bullock carts), a unique genre combining elements of jiehua (paintings requiring the aid of measuring tools), landscape, and genre art. As early as the Five Dynasties, bullock carts were represented in paintings showcasing water mills to celebrate technology and its contribution to agricultural prosperity. In the Song period, the realistic representation of bullock carts meandering along the mountain paths of northern landscapes became a distinctive genre. This paper examines the forces contributing to this transformation: a dominant interest in landscape painting and realism, and the grain contribution required of commoners for the defense of the northern frontier.

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