The complex interweaving of different Western visions of China had a profound impact on artistic exchange between China and the West during the nineteenth century.
Beyond Chinoiserie addresses the complexity of this exchange. While the playful Western “vision of Cathay” formed in the previous century continued to thrive, a more realistic vision of China was increasingly formed through travel accounts, paintings, watercolors, prints, book illustrations, and photographs. Simultaneously, the new discipline of sinology led to a deepening of the understanding of Chinese cultural history. Leading and emerging scholars in the fields of art history, literary studies and material culture, have authored the ten essays in this book, which deal with artistic relations between China and the West at a time when Western powers’ attempts to extend a sphere of influence in China led to increasingly hostile political interactions.