Landscape to Soul Summary and Important Questions for class 11th

Landscape to Soul Summary and Important Questions for class 11th

Landscape of the Soul Written by Nathalie Trouveroy about art. The summary of "landscape to soul" speaks to the differing perceptions of beauty and aspirations of Western and Eastern artists. Eastern artists want an active and emotional engagement with their profession, whereas Western artists long for an exact portrayal of life. There are two sections to the chapter. "Landscape of the Soul: Ethics and Spirituality in Chinese Painting" is the source of the first section. and the second section is taken from Brinda Suri's essay "Getting Inside 'Outsider Art'" in Hindustan Times.

Landscape to Soul Summary and Important Questions

Landscape to Soul Summary Part 1

The first story in the Landscape of the Soul Summary tells the story of Wu Daoji, a well-known Chinese artist who flourished in the eighth century during the reign of Tang Emperor Xuanzong. The regent asked him to paint the walls of his palace.

Wu Daoji depicted a stunning midline with mountains, rivers, waterfalls, blue sky, clouds, and fauna as well as humans coexisting peacefully in a radiant setting. He depicted a spirit-inhabited cave in the foothills of the Himalayas. Wu clapped his hands in the vicinity of the cave as he was painting, and the passageway within miraculously opened. Wu enters the cave and disappears.

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Landscape to Soul Summary and Important Questions-In the summary of the chapter Landscape of the soul, the author shows the knowledge of the mystical inner world. It opened a portal to a different world. Wu entered the cave, and the image disappeared into thin air before anyone else could react. Wu disappeared as well. The story became a Chinese legend and part of rich folklore from writers and philosophers such as Confucius and Zhuangzi. 

Landscape to Soul Summary Part 2

The second part of the landscape of the soul summary is about another painter who believed in the spiritual magic of art. He painted a magnanimous dragon. However, he did not paint the eyes of the dragon because he was afraid that the dragon would come to life. The belief he had in his art was such that he was frightened by the probability of bringing his art to life and falling victim to a fiery dragon.

Landscape to Soul Summary Part 3

In the third and final storythe author uses a tale set in Antwerp, Belgium, that is typical of Europe in the fifteenth century. Quentin, a blacksmith, had feelings for the daughter of a painter. The father refused to approve of their relationship because of the differences in their professions. 

Landscape to Soul Summary and Important Questions-The blacksmith broke into the painter's studio and painted a fly on his most recent panel in order to win his beloved hand in marriage. Because of its somewhat realistic appearance, it attempted to fly like a genuine bug. He was persuaded by Quentin's talent, tenacity, and simplicity, and he married his daughter. Quentin became one of the greatest artists of his era after discovering his true love.

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These stories illustrate the different forms of art in two different regions. Chinese artists convey a deep purpose and emotion and give an essence of vitality while the Europeans are concerned about external appearances and a perfect illusionistic likeness. The author talks about the Chinese concept of ‘shanshui’ which means mountain-river. She also familiarises the concepts of “yang” and “yin”.

Characters in Landscape of the Soul

Wu Daozi- He was a painter who lived in the 8th century and he was ordered to make a painting of a landscape by the then emperor Xuangxon.

Quinten Metsis-  He was a master blacksmith, who fell in love with a painter’s daughter. He knew he wouldn’t be accepted by the girl’s father so he painted a fly so that he would be accepted as an apprentice at the studio.

Landscape of the Soul Important Questions and Answers

How was Quinten able to marry the painter’s daughter?

Quinten was a blacksmith who wanted to marry a painter’s daughter. The painter did not think he was a suitable match, as he was not an artist. Quinten painted a fly on one of the painter’s canvases. It looked so real that the painter tried to kill it. When he realised that Quinten had painted it, he allowed him to marry his daughter.

What are Yang and Yin? What do they represent?

‘Yang’ represents the mountain or the vertical element which is stable, warm, dry and masculine. ‘Yin’ represents the water or the horizontal element that is fluid, moist, cool and feminine. The interaction of Yang and Yin is the fundamental notion of Daoism.

Illustrate with examples the difference in the nature of Eastern and Western paintings?

The essential difference between Eastern and Western paintings is that the Eastern painting is not factual; it does not represent an actual view as a Western figurative painting does. It has a dimension of time. The viewer can ‘enter’ the painting and thereby the artist’s mind. The landscape is an inner one having spiritual and conceptual space. He gave the viewer various entry points to let him enjoy the journey from his perspective. Wu Daozi, the Chinese painter, was not satisfied with the emperor’s appreciation of his art. His art had a much deeper meaning which he wanted the viewer to comprehend by entering his mind. The European paintings were to be viewed from a specific angle and exactly the way the artist wanted you to see it.

What are the elements of ‘shanshui’? Explain in detail.

The Chinese painter brings out the concept of Shanshui in his work. Literally it means mountain and water. The mountain is symbolic of the male and the water is symbolic of’ the female element in creation. This is the fundamental notion of ‘Daoism’. In between there is the Middle Void where their interaction takes place and is also the space for man. Thus the Chinese painter’s landscape has a spiritual character.

The author has compared the concept of ‘Shanshui’ with the yogic practice of ‘Pranayama’ breathe in, hold, breath out—the time of the suspension of breath is the void when meditation occurs. This middle void is crucial-as nothing can happen without it.



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