Hsieh, Ho (6th century) by Scholes, Robert

Ho Hsieh (6th century) He was a Chinese painter. Hsieh Ho’s paintings have not survived, but his famous six principles of painting have–and have been translated in various ways. Here are three of them: 1) animate through spirit consonance; 2) follow the “bone method” in the use of the brush; 3) be truthful in depicting forms; 4) conform to kind in setting forth colors; 5) divide and plan in positioning and arranging; and 6) convey the past by copying and transcribing. 1) spirit consonance and life-motion; 2) the bone method in the use of brush; 3) conformity to the object to give likeness; 4) correct color; 5) care in composition; 6) transmission of the tradition by making copies. 1 Painting should have life and vitality. 2 Use brush in a controlled manner. 3 Subject of Painting shall be recognisable. 4 Colour, including different tones and shades of black, should be used with care. 5 Plan placing of picture on paper thoughtfully. 6 Practice and Improvement is achieved through copying.

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