Hua Yan (1682-1756) and the Making of the Artist in Early Modern China


Hua Yan (1682-1756) and the Making of the Artist in Early Modern China explores the relationships between the artist, local society, and artistic practice during the Qing dynasty (1644–1911). Arranged as an investigation of the artist Hua Yan’s work at a pivotal moment in eighteenth-century society, this book considers his paintings and poetry in early eighteenth-century Hangzhou, mid-eighteenth-century Yangzhou, and finally their nineteenth-century afterlife in Shanghai. By investigating Hua Yan’s struggle as a marginalized artist—both at his time and in the canon of Chinese art—this study draws attention to the implications of seeing and being seen as an artist in early modern China.

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Kristen Loring Chiem, Ph.D. (2011), University of California, Los Angeles, is Associate Professor of Art History at Pepperdine University. Her work explores the intersections of gender, painting, and garden imagery in Chinese art.

List of Figures

 1 Seeing Hua Yan
 2 Painting in Early Modern China
1 The Mountain Man of Xinluo
 1 Portraiture and Persona
 2 The Zhe School Poets
 3 The Sojourning Artist
2 Lyricism in Words and Images
 1 On Transformation
 2 Artist and Patron
 3 The Human Experience
 4 Singing of the Object
3 Painting the Garden from Life
 1 The Art of Social Distinction
 2 Hua Yan’s Circle, 1740s and 1750s
 3 Garden and Society
4 Picturing People, Past and Present
 1 Literary Gatherings as Aspirational Subjects
 2 Gender and the Garden
 3 Borders, Travel, and Empire
 3 Seasons of Life
5 The Xinluo School
 1 The Zhejiang Legacy in Yangzhou
 2 Defining the Xinluo School
 3 The Shanghai School
Epilogue: Lives of Jiangnan Artists, 1700–1900


All interested in the histories of Chinese painting, and anyone concerned with culture and society in early modern China.
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