The Three Perfections

The Three Perfections, or Three Incomparables refer to the poetry, calligraphy and the painting on a Chinese painting.

This slim book of 64 page is actually a lecture given in 1974 by Michael Sullivan.

The endnotes are sparse and the text not well documented. The author just said a Chinese Emperor, with no name given.

The origin of the integration between writing and painting is shrouded by the mist of time.

Michael Sullivan

A Chinese art historian in the 9th century said, ” writing and painting have different names but a common body ” (p 11).

Any yet, in the 17th century a master when asked to inscribe on a painting hesitated and said ‘ In ancient times no writing was done on the pictures but only on sheets attached to them. [ p 14].

This book has many paintings accompanying the text. Sadly, they are not in colour.

@Christmas 25 Dec 2023

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