Painting Faith

Li Gonglin and Northern Song Buddhist Culture


Despite Li Gonglin’s (ca. 1049-1106) deep faith in Buddhism and the large number of recorded and extant Buddhist paintings associated with or ascribed to this great painter, twentieth century scholarship on Li Gonglin has focused primarily on his literatus identity and Confucian art oeuvres. This book departs from this traditional view to establish Li Gonglin’s importance in Chinese Buddhist art history through both the local Longmian Chan and the larger Northern Song religious contexts. It offers a fresh understanding of the impact the intermingling of Tiantai, Pure Land, Huayan and Chan philosophies and practices had on Li Gonglin’s faith and art. Painting Buddhist subjects to Li Gonglin was an expression of faith.
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Biographical Note

An-yi Pan, Ph.D. (1997) in Art History, University of Kansas, is Associate Professor of Chinese Art History at Cornell University. He focuses on premodern and contemporary Chinese art, and has organized exhibitions and published on these topics in both English and Chinese.

Review Quote

'this is a stimulating and impressive piece of scholarship, and one that will be of interest not only to historians of Chinese painting and cultural history, but to scholars of Chinese Buddhism as well.'
Charles Lachman, Journal of Asian Studies


All those interested in China Studies, Asian Studies, Buddhist Studies and Art History; museums and educational institutions in North America, Europe, and Asia.


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