The Tao of painting : A study of the ritual disposition of Chinese pai – CULTURAL HERITAGE BOOKS


The Tao of painting : A study of the ritual disposition of Chinese painting : with a translation of the Chieh tzu yuan hua chuan, or Mustard seed garden manual of painting, 1679-1701 by Mai-mai Sze (Two Volumes Set)

Pantheon Books

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New York : Pantheon Books, 1963. Hardcover. 2 volumes : illustrations, plates (some folded, some color) ; 27 cm. Very good copy; no underlines or markings within the pages. Satisfaction guaranteed!


A Study of the Ritual Disposition of Chinese Painting, with a Translation of the "Chieh Tzb Yüan Hua Chuan," or Mustard Seed Garden Manual of Painting, 7679— 7707

Vol. 1: The Tao of Painting—introductory essay, plates with descriptions, analysis of terms and ideograms, chronology, bibliography, index
This two-volume work is an exploration of certain ideas that have traditionally motivated and governed Chinese painting, and of the technical methods used to express them. Its core is a translation—the first into English—of the Chieh TzÜ Yüan Hua Chuan, or Mustard Seed Garden Manual of Painting. Nearly every page of this famous handbook gives an illustration of brushwork, ranging from the single stroke of a blade of grass or petal of a flower to the composition of a whole tree or mountain. The Manual contains over four hundred of these examples; in the present work, these pages are completely reproduced. Mai-mai Sze has translated and annotated the texts of instructions, discussions of the fundamentals of painting, notes on the preparation of colors, and chief editorial prefaces.

To demonstrate the technique of the brush, the edition of the Manual published in Shanghai in 1887— 88 has been chosen for reproduction. It was the first edition printed by lithography from brush renderings, copied from the original editions. In place of the sections of the Manual that reproduced parts of paintings by established artists, the present work offers a selection of eleven notable Chinese paintings in American collections, on collotype plates, two in full color.

In an introductory essay, Miss Sze has sought a fresh approach to her subject by exploring the main features of the tao or "way" of Chinese painting. Her explanation of the traditional beliefs and attitudes—as important to Chinese painting as brushwork and composition—gives an essential background to her translation of the Manual.

Mai-mai Sze, born in China and educated in England, France, and America, is well known as a writer, lecturer, and artist. Her paintings have been exhibited in London, Paris, New York, and other cities. She has designed the jacket and box for The Tao of Painting.

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