Dogs and Ghosts

I came across this this nice quote about Chinese paintings:

The royal painter of Ch’i was asked by the king what objects were the easiest and what objects were the most difficult to paint.

“It is the most difficult to paint ddogs and horses; it is the easiest to paint ghosts.” the painter replied.

“Why?” asked the king.

“People know what dogs and horses look like. When I paint them, I have to make them look like dogs and horses, which is rather difficult. But nobody knowss what ghosts look like. I can paint them anyway I wish, and yet  no one can contradict me. That is why, Your Majesty. I have always preferred to paint ghosts rather than dogs and horses.”

The king nodded in agreement.

–Han Fei (d. 233 B.C.)

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