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gongbi

in Chinese painting, meticulous brush technique that delimits details very precisely and without independent or expressive variation. It is often highly coloured and usually depicts figural or narrative subjects. The term gongbi is also used to refer to paintings that are generally more descriptive than interpretive. Gongbi paintings are considered to be the opposite of more freely and quickly sketched paintings called xieyi, or "sketching [one's] thoughts."

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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