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NCERT Solutions for Class 11 English Hornbill Prose Chapter 4:Landscape of the Soul

This short story written by Nathalie Trouveroy compares the Chinese Art form and the European Art form. It highlights the differences between them through two stories belonging to the two cultures.

Trouveroy begins with a story connected to Chinese art culture. The first story is about a painter named Wu Daozi, who was commissioned by the Tang emperor Xuanzong to decorate a wall in the palace. The painter decorated the wall with elaborate and beautiful scenery with waterfalls, high mountains, forests, floating clouds and a cave located at the foot of the mountain. When the emperor was admiring the painting, Wu Daozi drew his attention to the cave and said that he could show the emperor the cave's insides. To the amazement of the emperor, Wu Daozi entered the painting and simultaneously, the painting disappeared. Trouveroy likens the concept of spirituality of this story with the story of the painter who refused to draw the eyes of a dragon in fear of it coming to life and flying away.

The second story is from European art culture. In the story, a blacksmith named Quinten Metsys fell in love with the daughter of a painter. Due to his profession, the painter refused to accept him. One day he snuck into the painter's studio and drew a lifelike image of a fly on one of the paintings. The painter mistook the image of the fly to be real and swatted at it. When he came to a realisation, he accepted the blacksmith as his son-in-law and made him an apprentice. The blacksmith went to become one of the most famous painters of that time.

Through the stories, Trouveroy inferred that Chinese art's core idea is spirituality and had a deeper meaning to it than just its appearance. At the same time, European art focuses on and applauds perfection and creating a lifelike image that would trick the viewer like an illusion. Connecting to the arts, the writer explains the different art forms' different concepts to enlighten the readers.


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