Gu Kaizhi is a celebrated painter of ancient China born in Wuxi. He wrote three books about painting theory: On Painting (画论), Introduction of Famous Paintings of Wei and Jin Dynasties (魏晋胜流画赞) and Painting Yuntai Mountain (画云台山记). He wrote, "In figure paintings the clothes and the appearances were not very important. The eyes were the spirit and the decisive factor."
Three of Gu's paintings still survive today. They are "Admonitions of the Instructress to the Court Ladies", "Nymph of the Luo River" (洛神赋), and "Wise and Benevolent Women".
There are other examples of Jin Dynasty painting from tombs. This includes the Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove, painted on a brick wall of a tomb located near modern Nanjing and now found in the Shaanxi Provincial Museum. Each of the figures are labeled and shown either drinking, writing, or playing a musical instrument. Other tomb paintings also depict scenes of daily life, such as men plowing fields with teams of oxen.
Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove, an Eastern Jin tomb painting from Nanjing, now located in the Shaanxi Provincial Museum.
Northern Wei wall murals and painted figurines from the Yungang Grottoes, dated 5th to 6th centuries.
A scene of two horseback riders from a wall painting in the tomb of Lou Rui at Taiyuan, Shanxi, Northern Qi Dynasty (550–577)