Six principles (Modified Excerpt From Wikipedia)


The "Six principles of Chinese painting" were established by Xie He, a writer, art historian and critic in 5th century China. They were taken from the preface to his book "The Record of the Classification of Old Painters" (古画品录). Although these principles were established circa 550 AD, they still hold true nowadays. 


The six elements that define a good painting are:

  1. "Spirit Resonance" (or vitality) refers to the flow of energy that encompasses theme, work, and artist. Xie He said that without Spirit Resonance, there was no need to look further.
  2. "Bone Method" (or the way of using the brush) refers not only to texture and brush stroke, but to the close link between handwriting and personality. In his day, the art of calligraphy was inseparable from painting.
  3. "Correspondence to the Object" means to depict forms correctly with shapes and lines.
  4. "Suitability to Type" refers to the application of color, including layers, value and tone.
  5. "Division and Planning" means to place and arrange objects corresponding to composition, space and depth.
  6. "Transmission by Copying" means to copy models not only from life but also the works of antiquity.




對六法原文的標點斷句,一般是 : "六法者何?一氣韻生動是也,二骨法用筆是也,三應物象形是也,四隨類賦彩是也,五經營位置是也,六傳移模寫是也。這種標法主要是根據唐代美術理論家張彥遠《歷代名畫記》的記述:昔謝赫云:畫有六法:一曰氣韻生動,二曰骨法用筆,三曰應物象形,四曰隨類賦彩,五曰經營位置,六曰傳移模寫。