May 1st Jun Hu

* This talk has been rescheduled to Fall 2015:

Jun Hu, Assistant Professor

The Department of Art History, Northwestern University

Chinese Painting Circa 1603: Some Comments on the Conditions for “Art Historical” Art

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Wang Yue (fl. first half of 17th c.)

Landscape in the Manner of Huang Gongwang

Album Leaf, Dated 1627

Private Collection

 Landscape painting in China is often conditioned by a sense of self-reference. Artists study earlier styles not only as motifs and pictorial content, but also as means. Centuries of conscious emulation and oblique reference makes it possible for a trained eye to see “Wang Wei” in a “Zhao Mengfu,” and “Zhao Mengfu,” in a “Dong Qichang.” But it is only in the seventeenth century, it would seem, that a panoptic vision of the past begins to take form: in this vision “styles” become legible patterns that can be mapped onto history, and it is possible now to (rather like in a modern day art history book) pin a name to a picture. In painted and printed pictorial albums, past styles become the primary subject matter. This talk will explore the formats, mediums, and other conditions in which this “carnival” of pictorial styles took place in seventeenth-century China, as well as its discontents.

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