Song Dynasty Figures of Longing and Desire, Lara Blanchard analyzes images of women in painting and poetry of China’s middle imperial period, focusing on works that represent female figures as preoccupied with romance. She discusses examples of visual and literary culture in regard to their authorship and audience, examining the role of interiority in constructions of gender, exploring the rhetorical functions of romantic images, and considering connections between subjectivity and representation. The paintings in particular have sometimes been interpreted as simple representations of the daily lives of women, or as straightforward artifacts of heteroerotic desire; Blanchard proposes that such works could additionally be interpreted as political allegories, representations of the artist’s or patron’s interiorities, or models of idealized femininity.
Lara C. W. Blanchard, Ph.D. (2001), University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, is Luce Professor of East Asian Art at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. She has published articles on gender and Chinese art from the Song to Ming dynasties.
Table of contents
ContentsAcknowledgmentsList of FiguresAbbreviationsIntroduction 1
Gendered Subjectivity and Representing Interiority Subjectivity and Authorship Pictorial Representations of Inner Feelings Courtly and Literati Audiences: Evidence from Commentaries 2
Political Interpretations of Desire Handscrolls of
Goddess of the Luo River The Beijing Handscroll
Night Revels of Han Xizai 3
Male Audience and Authorship: Projecting Desire and Longing onto the Female Figure Huizong’s
Court Ladies Preparing Newly Woven Silk Mou Yi’s
Pounding Cloth 4
The Female Audience: Modeling Idealized Femininity Women and Fan Paintings
Ladies Adorning Their Hair with Flowers: A Bed-Screen?
Conclusion: Interiority and the Value of ConnectionWorks CitedIndex
This book should be of interest to specialists and scholars of Chinese art history, literary history, gender studies, and the middle imperial period, as well as to academic libraries.