Flowers and birds are the most frequent, ravishing and elegant guo hua (国画) subjects. Chinese artists represent in their paintings flowers, praised for size, shape and color, cultivated for their beauty in royal and special gardens.
Birds, frequently in pairs are contributing to a peaceful, happy, balanced environment. In times artists extended their subjects to include other creatures, all well studied, catching what is the most representatives of their body and movement: fish, lobsters, crawling and flying insects, wild animals.
Observing the large variety of ink lines used to define a subject in gongbi (工笔) style, the viewer admire the artistic sensitivity expressed in each line as a reflection of a deep understanding of the rules of life, of growing.
In time, these rules coagulated in a code which artists were obliged to respect and later wanted to break, to regain the total individual freedom of expression in xieyi (寫意) style.
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