Assignment: Topic 5
Find a photo or a painting which you think is beautiful. Explain why you think it is beautiful. (Attached the photo or painting in your appendix)
Beauty is a characteristic of a person, animal, place, object, or idea that provides a perceptual experience of pleasure, meaning, or satisfaction. In my views, aesthetic considerations in evaluating whether a painting is beautiful or not include not only the techniques such as strokes, the use of colors, composition(構圖), chiaroscuro(明暗對照)and perspective(透視), but also the artist’s view of life and moral integrity(人格風度) reflected by the painting.
“Travellers Amid Mountains and Streams” (《谿山行旅圖》) painted by Fan Kuan (范寬), a Chinese landscape painter of the Song Dynasty, can be considered as a beautiful painting in terms of the painting techniques and moral integrity.
China used to be a country which relied heavily on agriculture. Chinese people believed that all living organisms are bred by the earth and sky without which human will not be able survive. This led to an ultimate degree of adoration towards nature and developed the concept of “nature is beauty”. Under the influence of this concept of beauty, “Travellers Amid Mountains and Streams” is one of the many Chinese paintings which expresses the artist’s gratitude and appreciation towards nature. Fan Kuan based the painting on the Taoist principle of reclusion. The composition emphasizes the monumentality(氣勢) of nature through the contrast between the size of travellers and that of the natural surroundings. The immense mountains and streams extol the eternity and mightiness of nature. On the contrary, a mule train with travellers can barely be seen emerging from a wood at the base of a huge precipice. This represents the transient(短暫) and infinitesimal(渺小) of human lives.
The painting can be separated in to three parts: the foreground(近景), medium shot(中景) and long shot(遠景). The foreground is the huge rocks below the stream. The middle...