The Mustard Seed Garden Manual of Painting: A Facsimile of the 1887-1888 Shanghai Edition

The Mustard Seed Garden Manual of Painting: A Facsimile of the 1887-1888 Shanghai Edition

with the text translated from the Chinese and edited by MAI-MAI SZE
Copyright Date: 1956
Pages: 648
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  • Book Info
    The Mustard Seed Garden Manual of Painting: A Facsimile of the 1887-1888 Shanghai Edition
    Book Description:

    Originally published as Volume 2 ofThe Tao of Painting, this is the first English translation of the famous Chinese handbook, the "Chieh Tzu Yüan Hua Chuan" (original, 1679-1701). Mai-mai Sze has translated and annotated the texts of instructions, discussions of the fundamentals of painting, notes on the preparation of colors, and chief editorial prefaces.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-6683-0
    Subjects: Art & Art History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Publisher’s Note
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-vii)
  4. Traditional Chronology
    (pp. viii-viii)
  5. Introduction
    (pp. ix-xix)

    In nanking during the last quarter of the XVII century, three painters, who were also brothers, prepared the illustrations and text of a work that subsequently became the most widely used handbook of painting in China, theChieh Tzŭ Yüan Hua Chuanor Mustard Seed Garden Manual of Painting. The complete work consists of thirteen “books” arranged in three parts. Part I, on landscape, appeared in 1679, and constitutes the first edition of theChieh Tzŭ Yüan.It contains five books: one on general principles and standards, with historical notes and a section on colors;Book of Trees; Book of...

    (pp. xx-2)
  7. Preface to the Shanghai (1887–88) Edition
    (pp. 3-8)
  8. PART I
    • Preface to the First (1679) Edition
      (pp. 11-14)
    • The Fundamentals of Painting
      (pp. 15-50)

      LU CH’AI says:

      J Among those who study painting, some strive for an elaborate effect and others prefer the simple. Neither complexity in itself nor simplicity is enough.

      Some aim to be deft, others to be laboriously careful. Neither dexterity nor conscientiousness is enough.

      Some set great value on method, while others pride themselves on dispensing with method.

      To be without method is deplorable, but to depend entirely on method is worse.

      You must learn first to observe the rules faithfully; afterwards, modify them according to your intelligence and capacity. The end of all method is to seem to have...

    • Book of Trees
      (pp. 51-126)

      To paint landscapes, one should first know how to draw trees.³ To draw trees, one should be able first to draw the trunk and main branches, then to dot the foliage, and eventually to depict a luxuriant forest.

      After drawing the basic structure of trunk and main branches, add the smaller branches, establishing the form of the tree bare of foliage. The brushstrokes laying out the tree are the most difficult.

      Mark well the way the branches dispose themselves, theyinandyangof them,⁴ which are in front and which in the back, which are on the left and...

    • Book of Rocks
      (pp. 127-218)

      In estimating people, their quality of spirit (ch’i) is as basic as the way they are formed; and so it is with rocks, which are the framework of the heavens and of earth and also havech’i.That is the reason rocks are sometimes spoken of asyün ken(roots of the clouds). Rocks withoutch’iare dead rocks, just as bones without the same vivifying spirit are dry, bare bones. How could a cultivated person paint a lifeless rock?

      One should certainly never paint rocks withoutch’i.To depict rocks withch’i,it must be sought beyond the material...

    • Book of Jên-wu
      (pp. 219-314)

      In landscape paintings, in addition to scenery there should be figures (jên) and other living things (wu). They should be drawn well and with style, though not in too great detail. And they should, of course, fit the particular scene. For instance, a figure should seem to be contemplating the mountain; the mountain, in turn, should seem to be bending over and watching the figure. A lute player plucking his instrument should appear also to be listening to the moon, while the moon, calm and still, appears to be listening to the notes of the lute. Figures should, in fact,...

  9. PART II
    • Preface to Parts II and III of the First Complete Edition (1701)
      (pp. 317-320)
    • Book of the Orchid
      (pp. 321-358)

      MI-TS’AO² says:

      Before attempting to paint finished pictures of the orchid, one should study the works of the ancients. Later one may inject one’s own ideas. First, however, one should know the various methods; the rules phrased for memorizing by chanting (ko chüeh)³ should be learned, and one may then start with the basic strokes contained in the characterch’iu.

      In learning to write, one begins with simple characters made up of a few strokes and proceeds to complicated characters with several strokes. In the same way, in learning to paint flowers, one begins with those with few petals and...

    • Book of the Bamboo
      (pp. 359-396)

      LI (K’AN), of Hsi-chai, in hisChu P’u¹ (Treatise on the Bamboo), wrote: “In learning to paint (hsieh,write) bamboos in ink, I first studied with WangTan-yu² and also learned from the methods of Huang-hua Lao-jên (Huang T’ing-chien). Since Huang-hua had applied himself to learning all he could from Wen (T’ung) of Hu-chou, I searched for genuine works of (Wên) Hu-chou and studied their subtleties. I also studied the methods of the ancients in outlining (kou lê) and applying color.”

      These methods were developed by Wang (Wei) Yu Ch’êng, Hsiao (Yüeh) Hsieh-lü, Li P’o, and Huang Ch’üan (of the...

    • Book of the Plum
      (pp. 397-432)

      Among the painters of the T’ang period, many were famous for their paintings of flowers and plants, yet none was outstanding for paintings of the plum. Yü Hsi painted a picture entitledPlum Tree and Pheasant in Snow,but, strictly speaking, it belonged in the category ofling mao(feathers and fur). Liang Kuang painted a set of four pictures entitledFlowers of the Four Seasons,in which the plum was one among other kinds of blossoms and flowers, the others being the crab apple, water lily, and chrysanthemum. Li Yo was one of the first to be known for...

    • Book of the Chrysanthemum
      (pp. 433-462)

      There are many different kinds of chrysanthemums and great variety in their colors and forms. Without knowledge of the methods ofkou lê(outline) andhsüan jan(wash and tint), it is impossible to paint them (hsieh hsiao,write their likeness).²

      According to theHsüan Ho Hua P’u(Hsüan Ho Palace Catalogue of Paintings; Sung period), Huang Ch’üan, Chao Ch’ang, Hsü Hsi, T’êng Ch’ang-yu, Ch’iu Ch’ing-yü, and Huang Chü-pao were all well known for their paintings of chrysanthemums; all painted pictures of winter chrysanthemums. Up to the Southern Sung, Yüan, and Ming periods, only the literati and retired scholars treated...

  10. PART III
    • Book of Grasses, Insects, and Flowering Plants
      (pp. 465-522)

      All the plants in the world rival one another in their beauty and give pleasure to the hearts and eyes of men. They offer great variety. Generally speaking, the wood-stemmed plants may be described as having a noble elegance, the grasses a soft grace.

      Grasses please heart and eye mightily. They are a subject of this book; in the illustrated examples, grasses and their flowers are dealt with first. Among them are the many varieties of the orchid and the chrysanthemum, with their subtle fragrance, which have already been discussed in separate books. Besides these, there are numerous other spring...

    • Book of Feathers-and-Fur and Flowering Plants
      (pp. 523-578)

      General background of painting plants with wood stems

      The introduction to theHsüan Ho Hua P’u² described plants as possessing in essence the Five Elements and the Breath (Ch’i) of Heaven and Earth (i.e., nature); in the alternating action of theYinandYang(the TwoCh’i), the process of exhalation brings plants to full flower and that of inhalation causes them to fade.³ Among all the numerous varieties of grasses and plants, it is impossible to distinguish and name all of those with wood stems. Nevertheless, their forms and colors adorn all of civilization, though that may not have...

    • Concluding Notes on the Preparation of Colors
      (pp. 579-588)
  11. Summary of the Chieh Tzŭ Yüan Hua Chuan
    (pp. 589-608)
    (pp. 609-622)
    (pp. 623-624)