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Pictures and Visuality in Early Modern China

Pictures and Visuality in Early Modern China is not simply a survey of sixteenth-century images, but rather, a thorough and thoughtful examination of visual culture in China’s Ming Dynasty, one that considers images wherever they appeared—not only paintings, but also illustrated books, maps, ceramic bowls, lacquered boxes, painted fans, and even clothing and tomb pictures.

Clunas’s theory of visuality incorporates not only the image and the object upon which it is placed but also the culture which produced and purchased it. Economic changes in sixteenth-century China—the rapid expansion of trade routes and a growing class of consumers—are thus intricately bound up with the evolution of the image itself. Pictures and Visuality in Early Modern China will be a touchstone for students of Chinese history, art, and culture.

Distribution by the University of Chicago Press only to customers in the USA and Canada. Customers elsewhere should visit the UK website of Reaktion Books.

224 pages | 16 color plates, 80 halftones | 6 x 9 | © 2005

Picturing History

Art: Photography

Asian Studies: East Asia

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Table of Contents

1.  Introduction
2.  Positions of the Pictorial
3.  Representing the Triad
4.  Practices of Vision
5.  The Work of Art in the Age of Woodblock Reproduction
6.  Fears of the Image
7.  Conclusion
Picture Acknowledgements

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