Picturing Men and Women in the Chinese 1911 Revolution

in NAN NÜ
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In the late nineteenth and early twentieth century many Han Chinese, under the leadership of Sun Yatsen (1866-1925) and others sought to overthrow the Manchu Qing dynasty. This movement culminated in the Revolution which began in October 1911 and ultimately deposed the Qing imperial household, permitting the establishment of a republican government. As the Revolution progressed, the commercial popular print business, through inexpensive lithographs and woodblock prints, provided citizens with illustrations of important events in the Revolution, as well as portraits of male and female participants. Modern commentary on these prints identifies the subjects depicted, but neglects the artistic elements. To fill this gap, this study examines the artistic aspects of these prints and reveals that the source of the compositional formats lies in well-established formulae, some of which go back to the eighteenth century. For specific portraits of male participants in particular, print designers often relied on current photographs, thus melding old and new. For representations of female military participants, print designers, mostly eschewing photographs of them, provided imaginary portraits, some of which are based on depictions of anonymous women, again, already a part of the print legacy. The prints frequently feature two military women famous at the time, one real (Cao Daoxin) and one fictional (Xu Wuying); this essay explains how and why images of them were so widespread in the popular print media.

Picturing Men and Women in the Chinese 1911 Revolution

in NAN NÜ

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References

6

Hummel ed.Eminent Chinese of the Ch’ing128.

12

David StrandAn Unfinished Republic: Leading by Word and Deed in Modern China (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press2011) 24.

13

StrandAn Unfinished Republic26. Other participants in the revolutionary movement will be identified as needed below.

25

Boorman and Howard eds.Biographical Dictionary of Republican China2:159-166.

28

Boorman and Howard eds.Biographical Dictionary of Republican China1:359.

29

Biography in Boorman and Howard eds.Biographical Dictionary of Republican China3:220-223.

31

Hanchao LuThe Birth of a Republic: Francis Stafford’s Photographs of China’s 1911 Revolution and Beyond (Seattle: University of Washington Press2010) 7-9; Zouxiang xinhai geming zhi lu 120—this book also reproduces many of Stafford’s photographs.

32

DingleChina’s Revolutionviii.

33

Gao Lao 高勞“Geming zhanshi ji 革命戰事記,” Dongfang zazhi 8 no. 9 (1911): 7-24 (photocopy; Taipei: Taiwan Shangwu yinshuguan 1971-1973) 20683-20700.

36

LuBirth of a Republic72.

42

Nancy Berliner“The Eight Brokens: Trompe-l’oeil Paintings in China,” Orientations 13 (1992): 61-70; Nancy Berliner “Questions of Authorship in Bapo Trompe l’oeil in Twentieth-Century Shanghai” Apollo 147 (1998):17-22.

45

For an example see Bo SongnianChinese New Year Pictures (Beijing: Cultural Relics Publishing House1995) 100.

47

Terese Tse BartholomewHidden Meanings in Chinese Art (San Francisco: Asian Art Museum of San Francisco2006) 76.

49

BartholomewHidden Meanings155.

50

BartholomewHidden Meanings206.

51

BartholomewHidden Meanings30.

52

BartholomewHidden Meanings31.

53

Robert OpieRule Britannia: Trading on the British Image (Middlesex and New York: Viking1985) 64.

54

John FitzgeraldAwakening China: Politics Culture and Class in the Nationalist Revolution (Stanford: Stanford University Press1996) 181.

57

FitzgeraldAwakening China181.

60

Lin Wei-hung“Activities of Woman Revolutionists” 247. This observation is echoed by Rong Tiesheng “The Women’s Movement in China Before and After the 1911 Revolution” in Chün-tu Hsüeh ed. The Chinese Revolution of 1911: New Perspectives (Hong Kong: Joint Publishers 1986) 139-74 and see 154.

61

Lin Wei-hung“Activities of Woman Revolutionists” 245-299.

62

See OnoChinese Women in a Century of Revolution72-73.

63

Barbara Bennett PetersonNotable Women of China (Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe2000)269-75. See also Lan Dong Mulan’s Legend and Legacy in China and the United States (Philadelphia: Temple University Press 2011) 21-23.

65

Frederick Wakeman Jr.The Fall of Imperial China (New York: Free Press1975) 161 n. 17.

66

OnoChinese Women in a Century of Revolution74.

67

Lin Wei-hung“Activities of Women Revolutionists” 258.

68

Lin Wei-hung“Activities of Women Revolutionists” 258-59.

69

Lin Wei-hung“Activities of Woman Revolutionists” 299.

72

OnoChinese Women in a Century of Revolution75.

74

Yuxin MaWomen Journalists and Feminism in China 1898-1937 (Amherst. NY: Cambria Press2010) 104; Rong “The Women’s Movement in China” 159. The Yin sisters were students of Qiu Jin; they participated in several armed uprisings and later carried out liaison and spy activities in Shanghai. See also Lin Wei-hung “Activities of Woman Revolutionists” 284 and Louise Edwards Gender Politics and Democracy: Women’s Suffrage in China (Stanford: Stanford University Press 2008) 48.

75

Rong“The Women’s Movement in China” 158. For an account of Chen’s role in the Revolution see Rankin Early Chinese Revolutionaries esp. 203-209; for a full biography of Chen Qimei see Boorman and Howard eds. Biographical Dictionary of Republican China 1: 163-165.

76

Rong“The Women’s Movement in China” 158.

77

Lin Wei-hung“Activities of Woman Revolutionists” 284; Rong “The Women’s Movement in China” 158-159.

78

MaWomen Journalists103-04.

80

EdwardsGender Politics and Democracy50.

86

OnoChinese Women in a Century of Revolution75. He would later contribute an essay on the Shanghai Women’s Northern Expedition Dare-to-die Brigade (“Shanghai nüzi beifa gansidui” see n.79). Another possible school where women might have learned military tactics was the Shanghai nüzi shangwu hui上海女子尚武會 which in February 1912 sent a message of congratulations to Yuan Shikai as president of the Republic. See Linshi gongbao 臨時公報 (19 February 1912 Beijing; reprint Taipei: Zhongyang wenwu gongyingshe 1968) 171.

87

Paul J. BaileyGender and Education in China: Gender Discourses and Women’s Schooling in the Early Twentieth Century (London and New York: Routledge2007) 69.

88

Lin Wei-hung“Activities of Woman Revolutionists” 290; Strand An Unfinished Rep­ublic 111; Du Wei “Shanghai nüzi beifa gansidui” 62.

96

Edwards“Dressing for Power” 51.

98

Li Xisuo and Xu Ning“Minyuan qianhou (1911-1913) Minguo ‘Canzheng re’ pingxi,” Tianjin shehui kexue 2 (1992): 52cited in Strand An Unfinished Republic 97.

99

Lin Wei-hung“Activities of Woman Revolutionists” 290.

100

Paul Bailey“‘Women Behaving Badly’: Crime, Transgressive Behavior and Gender in Early Twentieth Century China,” Nan Nü: Men Women and Gender in China 8. 1 (2006):156-97 and see 194.

102

StrandAn Unfinished Republic109.

105

Sun Yuanchao 孫元超“Xu Xilin nianpu 徐錫麟年譜,” in Xinhai geming silieshi nianpu 辛亥革命四烈士年譜(Beijing: Beijing tushuguan1981) 4.

108

MaWomen Journalists104; Wu Zhenglan “Funü yu geming 婦女與革命” Funü shibao 6 (November 1911) 3 (photocopy 2:651).

112

Meng YueShanghai81-83. For other examples see Meng Yue 107 109-10.

113

Beahan“The Women’s Movement and Nationalism in Late Ch’ing China” 312; Lin Wei-hung “Activities of Woman Revolutionists 255.

115

StrandAn Unfinished Republic115-116.

119

Lin Wei-hung“Activities of Women Revolutionaries”289.

Figures

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    New Illustrated News. 1911. Lithograph. 63.7 × 55.8 cm. The East Asian Library and the Gest Collection, Princeton University. 

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    Detail of New Illustrated News, showing the woman student Cao Daoxin leading her fellow students.

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    Illustrated War News. November 1911. Lithograph. 78.1 × 54.1 cm. The East Asian Library and the Gest Collection, Princeton University.

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    Detail of Illustrated War News, showing Cao Daoxin leading her fellow students.

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    Illustrations of Great Events in Wuhan Pictorial Number One. 1911. Lithograph. 63.5 × 55.4 cm. The East Asian Library and the Gest Collection, Princeton University.

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    Detail of Illustrations of Great Events in Wuhan Pictorial Number One, portrait of Cao Daoxin.

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    Portraits of Government and Military Officials of Hubei Province and the Military Leaders of the Republic of China. 1911. Polychrome woodblock print. 30.0 × 56.5 cm. The East Asian Library and the Gest Collection, Princeton University.

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    Twelve Revolutionary Women. 1911. Polychrome woodblock print. 27.6 × 49.5. Private collection.

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    Chinese Great Han Republic Yuefenpai. 1912. Polychrome woodblock print. 52 × 30 cm. Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography, St. Petersburg, Russia. After Li Fuqing 李福清 [Boris Riftin], Zhongguo muban nianhua jicheng: Eluosi cangpin juan 中國木板年畫集成:俄羅斯藏品卷 (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 2009), 412. 

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    Great People of the Republican Army, New Yuefenpai. After February 12, 1912. Polychrome woodblock print. Dimensions not available. Machida International Print Museum, Machida, Japan. After Feng Jicai 馮驥 才, ed., Zhongguo muban nianhua jicheng: Riben cangpin juan 中國木板年畫集成:日本藏品卷 (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 2011), 336.

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    Great People of the Republic. 1912. Polychrome woodblock print. 24.5 × 14.6 cm. Nakashiro Masataka collection, Japan. After Feng Jicai, ed., Zhongguo muban nianhua jicheng: Riben cangpin juan (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 2011), 375.

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    George Bickham the Elder, Postscript to the Post Boy. Published by John King and T. Slater, 1706. Engraving with etching colored by hand. 42.8 × 28.5 cm. ­Cour-­tesy the Provost and Fellows of Worcester College, Oxford University. 

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    Wu Hua 吳華 (dates unknown). 1885. Eight Brokens. Ink and color on paper, 147.3 × 39.4 cm. Membership Purchase Fund, photograph courtesy of the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University.

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    Chess Players. Early Qing dynasty, probably Suzhou, Jiangsu province. Poly­chrome woodblock print. 39.3 × 59.6 cm. © Trustees of the British Museum, London.

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    Witticisms. Late Qing dynasty. Wuqiang, Hebei province. Woodblock print. 74 × 55 cm. Collection unknown. After Zhang Daoyi 張道一, Zhongguo muban hua tongjian 中國木板畫通鋻 (Nanjing: Jiangsu meishu chubanshe, 2009), 314.

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    Women’s School Military Drill. Late Qing dynasty. Yangliuqing. Polychrome woodblock print. 54 × 106 cm. Wang Shucun collection. After Feng Jicai 馮驥才, ed., Zhongguo muban nianhua jicheng: Yangliuqing juan 中國木板年畫集成:楊柳青卷 (Beijing: Zhongguo shuju, 2007), 397.

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    Virtuous Women’s School. Early twentieth century. Yangliuqing. Polychrome woodblock print. 46 × 101 cm. Ethnographic Museum of Kazan University, Kazan, Russia. After Li Fuqing 李福清 (Boris Riftin), ed., Zhongguo muban nianhua jicheng: Eulousi cangpin juan 中國木板年畫集成: 俄羅斯藏品卷 (Beijing: Zhongguo shuju, 2009), 297.

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    Zhang Shupei 張樹培 (dates unknown). Chinese Women’s Physical Education School Graduation. 1910. Monochrome lithograph. After Tuhua ribao 圖畫日報, reprint (Shanghai guji, 1999), 4: 216.

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    Officers of Different Revolutionary Forces Which Captured Shanghai. 1911-12. Photograph. After Xinhai geming hua shi 辛亥革命畫史 (Hong Kong: Jianghan chubanshe, n.d.), 48.

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    Chinese Women’s Citizens’ Army. 1911. Photograph. After Xinhai geming hua shi 辛亥革命畫史 (Hong Kong: Jianghan chubanshe, n.d.), 59.

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    Zhou Muqiao (1868-1923). Brilliant Clothing. 1895. Monochrome lithograph. After Wu Youru huabao 吳友如畫寶 (1908; photocopy, Shanghai: Shanghai guji shudian, 1983), I:2.24a.

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    Two Western Women Watching Manchu Women Play Pool. 1909. Monochrome lithograph. After Minhu ribao 民呼日報 (The people’s cry), (photocopy, Taipei: Zhongying wenwu gongying she, 1969, 2: 447).

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    The Women’s Citizens’ Army of Jiangnan at Drill. 1911-1912. Shanghai. Polychrome woodblock print. 32 × 54.5 cm. Tianya Pavilion Collection, Shanghai. After Feng Jicai 馮驥才, ed., Zhongguo muban nianhua jicheng: Shanghai Xiaojiaochang juan 中國木板畫集成:上海小校場卷 (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 2011), 386.


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