This refers to the momentum, charm, and vitality in paintings as well as in calligraphic and literary works which together create artistic appeals. The term was first used to refer only to painting, meaning that the proper use of ink and the painting brush could vividly present natural landscape, make the painting flow with vitality, and enable viewers to appreciate its underlying allure. Later, the term was extended to cover poetry, essay, calligraphy and other literary creations. Artistic appeal, which is similar in meaning to such terms as artistic charm and literary charm, is an aesthetic appreciation gained through experiences and feelings. Expressed in a work of art, artistic appeal reflects an author’s unique approach to art and inspiration, something that he is born with rather than acquired.
There are six rules for painting. A painting should be full of vitality and artistic appeal; the painting brush should be used in such a way as to make changes in lines natural; image painted should suit the appearance of the painted object; coloring should suit the features of the object portrayed; the painting should be well structured to present an overall visual effect; and masterpieces of past painters should be copied to draw inspiration from them. (Xie He: An Appraisal of Ancient Paintings)
There are two types of artistic appeal in the use of ink and of the painting brush respectively. The artistic appeal created through the use of ink is readily appreciated; however, such appeal created through the use of the painting brush is not easy to appreciate. (Fang Xun: On Painting in the Quiet Mountain Studio)