The author explores the origins and the changing meaning of the term 'untrammelled' (yi) in Chinese writings on painting of the Tang to Yuan Dynasties (with reference to later usage). Rank (class) system of the early Chinese aesthetic theory is described in detail with special reference to the 'untrammelled class' (yipin). The figure of W a n g Mo (identified as W a n g Xia) is discussed in depth, with analysis of the Tang-Yuan critical evaluation of the eccentric artist and his work. The author then looks at the 'untrammelled type' (yige) of Huang Xiufu's 'Celebrated Painters from Yizhou' (Song) and the description of the painter S u n Wei. The article ends with elaboration on D o n g Qichang's (Ming) understanding of the term 'yipin'.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.