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20) Kuo Hsi ~ ~ (11th cent.). Early Spring. Hanging scroll dated 1072. Ink and color on silk. Northern Sung. Li Ch'eng and Fan K'uan were political outsiders, but Kuo Hsi was a Court-centered painter who adapted the "monumental" style to the expression of political ideas and ideals. Working in the stylistic tradition of Li Ch'eng, Kuo Hsi's has constructed a natural word whose organization and perfection is meant to minor the supposed perfection of Sung government. This organization is a vertically arranged hierarchy, somewhat like a pyramid, with the Sung emperor represented by the tallest peak, his advisors and high-ranking government officials represented by the surrounding and supporting peaks. The lower sections of the painting contain numerous "small people" that represent the governed masses: the peaks and water provide nourishment and livelihood for the populace. The whole is organized in a harmonious and measured union, grounded in the tradition Confucian notion of government as "father-and-mother" to the people.

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