Monday, February 18, 2008

Plus ça change...

Rock Pillar
Zheng Xie (1693-1765)
Qing Dynasty

Amongst other things, I am currently reading Michael Sullivan's Symbols of Eternity: The Art of Landscape Painting in China. While waiting on a tune up and oil change, I came across this passage and thought I'd share it not only for my fellow daily painting blogger friends who aim for daily sales (like moi) but as a comment on the ongoing dilemma of art and commerce.

Zheng Xie (Cheng Hsieh) was a calligrapher, writer and painter. Michael Sullivan writes that
He posted a list of prices on his door, adding, "If you present cold, hard cash, then my heart swells with joy and everything I write or paint is excellent."
Sullivan also includes these lines by Zheng Xie:
I studied verse to no avail,
So I quit and studied writing.
I studied writing to no avail,
So I quit and studied art.
Now if I sell enough for a hundred cash a day It will be considered making a living,
And keep one from abject poverty
In the elegant name of art.
Now I've escaped all appointments and meetings,
And begging for official favour.
The clean fresh air blows through my house,
And no horses and carriages crowd my gate.

Read my other posts on the history of Landscape Painting.

See my paintings at Landscape into Art.

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1 comment:

Werner said...

Hi Suzanne,
Thanks for the great drawing and the funny citation :)
Best Regards