Facets of a Diamond - Blog

“The Spirit Entering into the Hands”

Wang Wei, Li Po and Tu Fu were the great poets of the Tang dynasty. And Wang Wei is credited with being the originator of what was to become the Sung dynasty school of literati painting. He wrote: “Such paintings cannot be achieved by the physical movements of the fingers and the hand, but only by the spirit entering into them. This is the nature of painting.”[1]

I hear his words now as my hand is about to be moved. Such was the nature of his painting, and such, perhaps, is it of mine.

[1]           Trans. Wing-tsit Chan, Sources of Chinese Tradition, Volume 1 (NY: Columbia University Press, 1960), p. 255.