The literati painting is the ideal form of the Chinese scholar-painter who was more interested in personal erudition and expression than in literal representation or an immediately attractive surface beauty. The aim of these artists was not to depict nature realistically -- that could be left to the professionals -- but to express themselves, to "satisfy the heart." They spoke of merely "borrowing" the literal shapes and forms of things as a vehicle through which they could "lodge" their thoughts and feelings. In this amateur painting mode of the scholars, skill was suspect because it was the attribute of the professional and court painter. The scholars valued spontaneity above all, even making a virtue of awkwardness as a sign of the painter's sincerity. See "Literati Painting". China Online Museum. Retrieved 2016-08-16.