Art by the Book: Painting Manuals and the Leisure Life in Late Ming China

Art by the Book: Painting Manuals and the Leisure Life in Late Ming China

by J. P. Park

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Overview

Sometime before 1579, Zhou Lujing, a professional writer living in a bustling commercial town in southeastern China, published a series of lavishly illustrated books, which constituted the first multigenre painting manuals in Chinese history. Their popularity was immediate and their contents and format were widely reprinted and disseminated in a number of contemporary publications. Focusing on Zhou's work, Art by the Book describes how such publications accommodated the cultural taste and demands of the general public, and shows how painting manuals functioned as a form in which everything from icons of popular culture to graphic or literary cliche was presented to both gratify and shape the sensibilities of a growing reading public. As a special commodity of early modern China, when cultural standing was measured by a person's command of literati taste and lore, painting manuals provided nonelite readers with a device for enhancing social capital.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780295991764
Publisher: University of Washington Press
Publication date: 02/22/2012
Series: China Program Books Series
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 7.30(w) x 10.10(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

J. P. Park builds on important recent research on social status, economic development, and print publishing in late imperial China to show how a world of social meaning is evident in the literary subgenre of painting manuals, and provides insight into the links between art history, print culture, and social history.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Chronology of Chinese Dynasties xiii

Introduction: William Shakespeare, a Great Painter? 3

1 Genre and Biography 27

2 Words without Images 84

3 Portraits of the Characteristic 120

4 Icons of Love and Marginality 166

5 The Art of Being Artistic 190

Coda: The Late Ming at the Crossroads 213

Appendix 1 Locations and Editions of Late Ming Painting Manuals 217

Appendix 2 Lost Manuals and Albums of the Ming Dynasty 223

Notes 225

Glossary 257

Bibliography 267

Index 293

Plates follow Page 178

What People are Saying About This

Richard Vinograd

The printed manuals are situated within the wider horizons of late Ming thought, literature, tastes, fashions, values, and lifestyles. Thus, in addition to students of late imperial Chinese art history, this book should appeal to those interested in later Chinese literary, social, and cultural history, to readers interested in the history of the book, and to students of early modern cultural and social theory in comparative context.

From the Publisher

"Art by the Book is a significant contribution to our understanding of the way taste, status, and a growing urban sphere changed the content of elite self — understanding in 16th- and 17th-century China. By constantly cross-cutting between social history and the content and style of the painting manuals, Park demonstrates how even those outside the literati orbit could begin to take on the aura of the highest elites."—Katherine Carlitz, University of Pittsburgh

"The printed manuals are situated within the wider horizons of late Ming thought, literature, tastes, fashions, values, and lifestyles. Thus, in addition to students of late imperial Chinese art history, this book should appeal to those interested in later Chinese literary, social, and cultural history, to readers interested in the history of the book, and to students of early modern cultural and social theory in comparative context."—Richard Vinograd, Stanford University

Katherine Carlitz

Art by the Book is a significant contribution to our understanding of the way taste, status, and a growing urban sphere changed the content of elite self — understanding in 16th- and 17th-century China. By constantly cross-cutting between social history and the content and style of the painting manuals, Park demonstrates how even those outside the literati orbit could begin to take on the aura of the highest elites.

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