30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
A Promising Introduction,
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This review is from: Three Thousand Years of Chinese Painting (Paperback)
I was looking for a book on Chinese painting with plenty of illustrations. In the Amazon reviews this book was praised for it's ample examples of paintings. I ordered this book and the pictures did not let me down.
But the essays written by five experts were a surprising bonus of enjoyable informative commentaries providing concise but comprehensive introductions to painters and their works. This is just the book for a new comer to Chinese painting.
One book hasn't made me an authority, but I now know about the southern and northern schools, recognize some Daoist and Buddhist influences on painting, and I've seen an example of Guanxiu's distorted visages, have wondered at Gou Xi's 'Early Spring', have seen Fan Kuan's massive mountain reduce humans to paltry piddling beings verging on non-entities, have appreciated bird, animal, and delicate plant portraits and Liang Kai's distinct images as well as many other worthies.
Some of the most fascinating and aestheticly moving paintings to me are Wang Shen's 'Serried Hills Over a Misty River', Ma Lin's 'Sunset Landscape' and Xia Gui's 'Twelve Landscapes'; all paintings that elevate emptiness to an integral part of the scene giving outlined forms a vulnerable lonliness. These paintings take Miles Davis's advice a thousand years before he spoke it "Don't play[paint] what's there, play[paint] what's not there.
After being introduced to some of the artists and their works, I wish more of their art had been included, but then what better accolade can an introductory book receive than it leaves you wanting more.