Ku K'ai-chih

Ku K'ai-chih

(go͞o kī-jûr), c.344–c.406, Chinese painter, one of the most eminent painters before the T'ang dynasty. He was especially noted for his portraits but also painted landscapes. None of his works survive today, but his genius can be surmised from ancient writings and from presumed copies of his works. The Admonitions of the Instructress to Court Ladies (British Mus.)—the oldest-known Chinese scroll—is thought to be a 7th-century copy of his painting. Another such scroll (early 12th cent.?), The Nymph of the Lo River, is at the Freer Gallery, Washington, D.C. These scrolls supply valuable information on paintings of the archaic period in China.
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Staring at this waterpitcher, I am reminded of the Bartlett's familiar quotation by the ancient, dead Chinese painter Ku K'ai-Chih, who said: "Of all kinds of painting, figure painting is the most difficult; then comes landscape painting, and next dogs and horses.