Erotic Colour Prints of the Ming Period: With an Essay on Chinese Sex Life from the Han to the Ch'ing Dynasty, B. C. 206-A. D. 1644

Overview

In 1949 the sinologist Robert van Gulik (also known now for his Judge Dee mysteries) purchased in a Tokyo curio-shop a set of printing blocks of a Ming Erotic Album.
Two years later the album, with an extensive treatise, was published by Van Gulik himself in a 50 copies print run, sent to a small group of Sinological libraries, as “the erotic prints and other data ought not to fall into the hands of unqualified readers”. It was to be the author’s first work on the subject, ...

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Overview

In 1949 the sinologist Robert van Gulik (also known now for his Judge Dee mysteries) purchased in a Tokyo curio-shop a set of printing blocks of a Ming Erotic Album.
Two years later the album, with an extensive treatise, was published by Van Gulik himself in a 50 copies print run, sent to a small group of Sinological libraries, as “the erotic prints and other data ought not to fall into the hands of unqualified readers”. It was to be the author’s first work on the subject, preceding his 'groundbreaking' Sexual Life in Ancient China (new edition, Brill, 2002).
Unqualified readers have now at last become qualified with this official edition. James Cahill, Wilt Idema and Soeren Edgren provide readers with indispensable introductions to its art historical, literary, biographical, and book technical context.

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Meet the Author

R.H. van Gulik, (1910-1967) took his doctor's degree with honours on a thesis dealing with the horse cult in India, Tibet, and the Far East in 1935. Having entered the Netherlands Foreign Service in that same year, he held posts in Tokyo, Chunking (Nanking), Washington, New Delhi, Beirut, and Kuala Lumpur. His last posting was as Netherlands ambassador in Japan. Dr. van Gulik, who, after his thesis, continued to make valuable contributions to Sanskrit and Far Eastern studies, is also well-known as the author of the series of detective stories about Judge Dee.
James Cahill is Professor Emeritus, History of Art, at the University of California, Berkeley. After receiving his Ph.D. at the University of Michigan in 1958, he was for eight years Curator of Chinese Art at the Freer Gallery of Art. He has published numerous books, articles, and catalogs on Chinese and Japanese painting.
Wilt L. Idema, Ph.D. (1974) Leiden University, currently teaches Chinese literature at Harvard University. His main area of research is traditional Chinese vernacular literature.
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