Does the copyist invent?

The copyist, certainly, does not invent; he reproduces the lines and prospective colors of the model–it is the basic rule of the exercise–but to get there it is essential for him to rediscover the speed, the rhythm, and the original movements of the artist, in a word to follow in his footsteps and to empathize with him. He does not advance bit by bit, hesitantly, but by reconstructing with a faithfulness at once finicky and inspired the initial sequence of thoughts and emotions that gave rise to the work: as Wang Wei the Elder (415-443) wrote, “such paintings cannot be

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