Skip to main content

Matteo Ricci first Introduced European perspective to Chinese Painters

This is a writing of CHANG KENG, found in the book Gems of Chinese literature by H. A Giles.

Chang Kêng lived in 18th century a.d. He was the author of the Kwo hua ch'eng lu, published in 1739, a collection of short biographies of one hundred and thirty artists, exclusive of nine Buddhist priests, one Taoist priest, and ten women, followed by a supplement containing lives of seventy-two more artists, exclusive of six Buddhist priests and twelve women. The "Chiao," mentioned below, is Chiao Ping-chen, who painted "according to the method of western foreigners," and reproduced, with improved perspective, the pictures entitled "Agriculture and Weaving," by Liu Sung-nien (a.d. 1195- 1224)

PERSPECTIVE

UNDER the Ming dynasty there was Li Ma-tou (Matteo Ricci), a native of Europe, who, being able to speak Chinese, came to the southern capital (Nanking) and lived in the western camp at the Cheng-yang gate. He painted a picture of the Pope, and depicted a woman holding a little child, declaring that this last was a representation of God. The projection and colouring of these were very fascinating; and the artist himself maintained that the Chinese could only paint flat surfaces, consequently there was no projection or depression (relief) in their pictures. We in our country, he said, paint both the light and the dark, so that the result shows projection and depression. A man's full face is light, and the side parts are dark. If the side parts are coloured dark in a picture, the face will appear in relief. Chiao acquired this art, and modified his style accordingly, but the result was not refined and convincing. Lovers of antiquity would do well not to adopt this method.
A Jesuit in the Forbidden City: Matteo Ricci, 1552-1610Matteo Ricci (1552-1610) and Another Christian Missionary to China, from "China Illustrated" Giclee Poster Print, 18x24

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Panic or panick

There is only one spelling for panic; the verb is inflected 'panic, panics, panicked, and panicking’. The form panick is used for progressive tense, past tense and past participle. We don't write panick today, though English speakers from a few hundred years ago might have (in the same way they might have written musick).

When the alternate spelling “panick” is used for the past participle: "I panicked last night at the disco." When it’s use for progressive tense: “Invariably, when markets are panicking, they sell the stocks quickly.”

It's the rule for root words ending in "c" is that you have to add “k”, so the spelling is related with the pronunciation. If we don't add the <k>, it looks as if the <c> has to be pronounced /s/. If the "k" was not there, “panicing” would look like the word which is supposed to be pronounced as if it is ended in "sing," while “paniced” would be pronounced like “panised”.

The same would …

PEMDAS

"PEMDAS" - parentheses, exponents, multiplication, division, addition, subtraction, is the "order of operation" in a single math expression.

Does pearls reproduce by itself through time

At the request of several families he and Mrs Legge gave a home for some months to a young Dutch girl, a granddaughter of the first Dutch governor of the Straits Settlements. She had several pearls of which the Dutch residents were great collectors, got from oysters found in a river of the Malay Peninsula, when she left them she gave Mrs Legge a small box containing a large pearl the size of a pea, with a blue spot on it, and two others not so large. This box was then put away and locked up. Several weeks later he took it out and on opening it discovered more than a dozen pearls, most of them very small. Astonished at the phenomenon he called his chief servant, a Portuguese, who happened to enter the room and who expressed no surprise but declared it to be a common occurrence. On enquiry he found that many of the Dutch people had jars of pearls, large and small, which had accumulated in this way. Some years later he related the incident at dinner on board ship. The captain was a cauti…