College Of Arts And Sciences | Landscapes of the Mind
E103 | 0100 | Nelson, S


Rivers are the arteries of the landscape, wrote an eleventh-century
Chinese painter; rocks are its bones, foliage its hair, mists and
atmosphere its mood and character. A tall pine is like a virtuous
prince, a great mountain like a host among guests. Spring hills smile
flirtatiously; winter hills seem melancholy and drowsy. There's more,
but you see the point: to this painter and to many others throughout
Chinese history, landscape is full of character, meaning, and
expression--a living thing. As Western art has focused on the human
face and figure, Chinese artists have been preoccupied with mountains
and valleys, streams and waterfalls, trees, flowers and bamboo. And
in their paintings of these subjects we can read ideas about the
workings of the cosmic system, about the nation and national culture,
about society and community, and about the individual.