“Classical Chinese Landscape Painting and the Aesthetic Appreciation of Nature”

Turner, Matthew. “Classical Chinese Landscape Painting and the Aesthetic Appreciation of Nature.” The Journal of Aesthetic Education, vol. 43, no. 1, 2009, pp. 106–121. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/40263708. Accessed 12 Mar. 2021.

Turner interjects into the conversation about the aesthetic experience of nature in the hopes to provide the reader a device that might give us to aesthetically appreciate unscenic nature. He directs his attention to classical Chinese landscape paintings as his main source of visual analysis. Turner structures the paper by first providing motivation to apply conceptual resources from other traditions, outlying a cross-cultural conversation. He then transitions to providing an account of elements of the Chinese approach to painting. Lastly, he examines the consequence and benefits that western perception towards nature.

For the purpose of the course, I will be focusing on the three elements of classical Chinese paintings: theoretical foundation, development of theory, and the history of styles. I was intrigued by Turner’s usage of Hsien Ho’s “Ku Hua P’in Cu” to provide the six grounding principles of Chinese painting and then goes in-depth to explain what the translation can mean. The six principles are spirit resonance, bone method, correspondence to object suitability to style, division/planning, and transition by copying. He also addresses the difficulties of translating from Chinese to English as each principle is only four characters, and the connotation associated with some characters are lost. Overall, the article has provided a solid footing to approach and analyze the concept of space in classical Chinese paintings.

Author: Isma Mora

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