For the Song dynasty painter and theorist Guo Xi, Daoism runs like veins through his Lofty Appeal of Forests and Streams, helping it become one of the greatest works of landscape painting theory in China. This essay explores the influence Laozi and Zhuangzi had on Guo Xi's thought, paying particular attention to the latter's implementation of spirit, nature, and incompleteness. Guo Xi succeeded in giving these Daoist themes an aesthetic significance that had yet to be fully realized by his predecessors, while expounding them in a manner that remained faithful to the texts from which they were drawn. While Guo Xi was not the first person in China to employ the principles of Daoist philosophy in their discourse on landscape painting, his ability to synthesize them into a cohesive representation of the invisible gaze of the Dao led to his becoming one of the most eminent painters and aesthetic theorists in the history of Chinese aesthetics.

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