A Woman's Journey Round The World, From Vienna To Brazil, Chili, Tahiti, China, Hindostan, Persia, And Asia Minor By Ida Pfeiffer

 -   These qualities
are generally ascribed to the rice paper on which they paint, and
which is of the greatest possible - Page 210
A Woman's Journey Round The World, From Vienna To Brazil, Chili, Tahiti, China, Hindostan, Persia, And Asia Minor By Ida Pfeiffer - Page 210 of 708 - First - Home

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These Qualities Are Generally Ascribed To The Rice Paper On Which They Paint, And Which Is Of The Greatest Possible Fineness, And As White As Milk.

The paintings upon linen and ivory differ very little, as far as the colouring is concerned, from those of

Our European artists, and the difference is therefore the more visible in their composition, and perspective, which, with the Chinese, are yet in a state of infancy. This is more especially true of perspective. The figures and objects in the back-ground rival in size and brilliancy those in front, while rivers or seas float in the place which should be occupied by clouds. On the other hand, the native artists can copy admirably, {101} and even take likenesses. I saw some portraits so strikingly well drawn, and admirably coloured, that first-rate European artists need not have been ashamed to own them.

The Chinese possess marvellous skill in carving ivory, tortoiseshell, and wood. Among the superior black lacquered articles, especially with flat or raised gold ornaments, I observed some, which were worthy of a place in the most valuable collections of objects of vertu. I saw some small work-tables worth at least 600 dollars (120 pounds). The baskets and carpets, made from the bamboo, are also remarkably beautiful.

They are, however, far behind-hand in gold or silver work, which is generally heavy and tasteless; but then again, they have attained great celebrity by their porcelain, which is remarkable not only for its size, but for its transparency.

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