My response to Guo Xi’s Writings on Landscape Painting

In “The Significance of Landscape”, Guo Xi describes people’s notion of an ideal landscape beautifully through various examples. The humanitarian nature of people is questioned and whether they will really be able to give up on worldly affairs and retire. He elaborately talks about how various seasons affect the way landscapes look, thus emphasizing on the importance of the right time and place to create them. The state of mind of the painter also matters. He also emphasizes about the extravagance or plainness,  and their relation to painting.

While the first excerpt states the importance of light and  shadow in paintings, “Atmosphere and spacial recession” emphasizes on how distance affects them. The capability of the painter to accurately portray as much detail as possible, of the structures placed at different locations is  critiqued. According to Guo Xi, the painting is a representation of the surrounding nature, and not just an object.

The excerpts focus on the technicalities of landscape paintings. They also talk about the important elements that are generally in the paintings and the factors that affect them. It can serves as a guide to amateur painters.

Leave a Reply