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Natural Beauty And Literati Strokes: Shi Tao, Merleau-Ponty And The Practice Of Painting

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Chapter Summary

In this chapter, the author analyzes five features of the practice of literati painting with the help of Gao Jianping and Peng Feng. By adding Merleau-Ponty's late writings on the self-embodiment of the working painter, the author argues that all five features can be interpreted in a way that contemporary readers of this text will regard as authoritative for themselves. There are at least five features that literati painters associate with the making of brush strokes that merit the label naturally beautiful. They are: (1) the interaction of ideas with body, (2) concentration on paper, (3) suspension of visual perceptions of natural objects and qualities, (4) transformation into a pure self, and (5) awareness of a place where self and nature intersect. The chapter also provides an account of personal reports by Su Shih and Shi Tao.

Keywords: Gao Jianping; literati painting; Merleau-Ponty; Peng Feng; Shi Tao; Su Shih



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