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Xie He

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  • Chinese: (Xiè Hè)

Xie He was a 6th century painter from the Chinese polity of Southern Qi, known for his Six Laws of Painting (繪畫六法, Huìhuà liùfǎ), oft-cited and aspired to throughout later traditional Chinese painting.

  1. Xie's first principle, perhaps the most important in some senses, but also the most difficult to translate, speaks of the importance of imbuing one's painting with spirit and vitality (qi).
  2. The second principle speaks of the "bones" of the brushstroke, emphasizing the importance of solid structure in one's brushstrokes in painting, just as in calligraphy.
  3. The third principle speaks of the importance of depicting the subject faithfully.
  4. The fourth principle emphasizes faithfulness in the use of color.
  5. The fifth principle emphasizes the importance of careful planning in the layout and arrangement of elements within the painting, i.e. composition.
  6. The sixth principle emphasizes the importance of copying the great masters in order to learn and perfect one's art.

References

  • Conrad Schirokauer, et al, A Brief History of Chinese and Japanese Civilizations, Fourth Edition, Cengage Learning (2012), 95-96.
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