Zhang Yanyuan , courtesy name Aibin , was a art historian, scholar, calligrapher and of the late Tang Dynasty. He was born to a high ranking family in present-day .
Zhang wrote several works about art and calligraphy, among them ''Fashu Yaolu'' , a collection of poems on color paper, and ''Lidai Minghua Ji'' - a general arts book, about the famous historical paintings. Zhang created his own style of art history writing, combining historical facts and art critic. His book also described the painter's lives thoroughly, including biography and works.
Zhang's art theory consists of several distinctive features:
He agreed with the theory of that art had moral and political functions. Zhang also stressed the importance of originality and creativity in painting, opposing stereotyped painting styles. The painter's background also had a great influence on the painting.