genpitsu 減筆
KEY WORD : art history / paintings
Ch: jianbi. Often genpitsubyou 減筆描. Also ryakuhitsu 略筆. Lit. abbreviated brush drawing. An ink painting technique that employs a minimum of brush strokes to capture the essential features of an object, human figure, or scene. Of the three categories of brushwork *shin-gyou-sou 真行草, it is closest to the cursive style, sou 草 well suited for symbolic, suggestive renderings. Genpitsu is thought to have originated in China during the late Tang dynasty and flourished during the Song dynasty. Liang Kai (Jp: Ryou Kai 梁楷; late 12-13c) is said to have perfected this technique, and many of his figure paintings are prime examples. One such painting is his Li Po reciting Ri Haku ginkou-zu 李白吟行図, a hanging scroll in Tokyo National Museum. Chinese genpitsu paintings were greatly admired and imitated by Japanese painters, especially during the Muromachi period. The technique is one of the eighteen types of figure portrayal *jinbutsu juuhachibyou 人物十八描.


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