KEY WORD :  art history / paintings
Fundamental Advice for Students, a late Muromachi period treatise on painting technique attributed to the painter Sesson 雪村 (1504-89). Dated to Tenmon 天文 11 (1542), the short text discusses the importance of observing nature and of copying masterpieces as the steps by which an artist may learn to recognize the essential features of the natural world and to unlock the power of his own brushwork. In terms of technique, Sesson stresses the importance of creating areas of light and dark through the manipulation of ink. He suggests that a successful work should be composed of 70% dark area and 30% light, and that dark ink should be applied first, with light ink added last. The treatise also includes the famous statement that painting is wizardry, gadou wa senjutsu nari 画道ハ仙術ナリ. The text was reportedly discovered and copied by Hasegawa Toushuu 長谷川等周 (fl. ca. 1630), son of Touhaku 等伯 (see *Hasegawaha 長谷川派), in the town of Heda 邊垂 near Mito 水戸, Ibaraki prefecture; it appears in *BUNCHOU GADAN 文晁画談.


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