Gu Kaizhi - one of greatest artist of acient China
The spring water fills the lakes everywhere.
The summer clouds resemble the peaks.
The autumn moon is shining brightly.
The winter mountain highlights the pine tree.
The famous 20-word poem "Four Seasons" by Gu Kahai (345 - 406) describes the natural beauty in the changes of the four seasons. The spring water is flowing in rivers and lakes, the summer clouds are like the peaks in various strange shapes, the autumn moon, pure and bright, is illuminating every corner of the land, and the bare winter mountain peak is decorated by the evergreen pine tree.
The four lines depict four beautiful pictures. His literary talent can be compared with Ji Kang, while his calligraphy, with Wang Xizhi. However, his greatest attainment is painting. The spirit and charm in his painting are unprecedented. No wonder he was regarded as extraordinary in his talent, painting and passion.
Gu Kaizhi's painting is characterized by "a life like charm", which is important in artistic creation. He paid particular attention to eyes in portrait painting, whether human beings, Gods or Buddhas.
"Spirit, charm and life are all shown in eyes," he said. Once he painted Ruan Ji and Ji Kang (the sages of the Bamboo Forest) on a fan but did not draw in their eyes. When asked why, he replied humorously, "I could never paint their eyes, otherwise they would be able to speak".
Another time a celebration was being held when the Wa Guan Temple had been completed, (in the capital of Jiankang in the Eastern Jin Dynasty). A famous Master was invited to strike the bell
in order to collect some funds. The wealthy people and officials donated only l00,000 yuan, but Gu kaizhi, as soon as he stepped inside, wrote in the record book 1 million yuan. People around were aghast and thought he was joking. Calmly, Gu Kahai drew a portrait of" Weimo" (a Buddha at the time of Sakyamuni, meaning purity) but said he wouldn't draw the eyes until the next day when the spectators were requested to donate 100, 000 yuan each after watching how he painted the eyes.
When the news spread, large crowds of people rushed to the scene. Gu Kaizhi cleansed himself, lit the incense, prayed silently and made two strokes in the right position. All of a sudden the "Weimo" on the wall seemed to come to life. His eyes shone with kindness inside the temple. The donators praised highly and generously took out their wallets. Soon several million yuan was collected.
The ceremony of "painting the eyes ', practised in Japan nowadays was passed down from this period. Ideas are expressed in the brush paintings. The lines in his painting are like silk thread,
endless, numerous, detailed and lifelike. The free flow of lines in painting came to represent the fluid emotions in people.
Gu Kazhi is honest, sincere, emotional and determined. Crying his heart out for his benefactor, he composed a poem to Say "your unexpected death is like the collapse of the mountain, the
exhaustion of the sea, while I am like a fish and a bird. How am I going to survive"? He continued to describe his sorrow,"My crying is like thunder destroying mountains and my tears are like rivers rushinh into the sea." Little wonder he was said to be infatuated, besides his "unrivalled talent, skill and passion".
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