Essays on Chinese Painting
A thousand years before the first European discussions on painting were published, the Chinese were writing comments on painting and putting forward innovative ideas. That particular time was Six Dynasties, the most turbulent as well as most creative years in Chinese history. The fundamental ideas formed in Six Dynasties were impression and response. As impression describes the nature of painting, the idea of response indicates painter's duty. From then on many more discussions were published, some of them in tens of volumes, and many more ideas came into fashion, but essentially they all were extensions of this painter-painting pattern, no matter how novel an idea seemed to be.