Book Information

Mirror of morality : Chinese narrative illustration and Confucian ideology

by Julia K Murray
Year: 2007
Publisher: University of Hawaii Press
Keywords: Narrative painting, Chinese, Art and morals China, Art Political aspects China, ART History General, Art and morals, Art Political aspects, China
Language: English
ISBN: 082486364X, 9780824830014, 9780824863647, 9781435675001, 0824830016, 1435675002
OCLC: 276359434
Contents: The social status of narrative illustration in China -- Redrawing the concept of Chinese narrative illustration -- Early narrative illustration and moral suasion -- New strategies for narrative illustration in the post-Han period -- Institutionalizing narrative illustration under the Tang dynasty -- Turning points and competing values -- Later narrative illustration at court : legitimation -- Remonstrance, and indoctrination -- Narrative illustration outside the court : persuasion, pleasure, prestige, and piety -- Epilogue.

Summary: Mirror of Morality takes an interdisciplinary look at an important form of pictorial art produced during two millennia of Chinese imperial rule. Ideas about individual morality and state ideology were based on the ancient teachings of Confucius with modifications by later interpreters and government institutions. Throughout the imperial period, members of the elite made, sponsored, and inscribed or used illustrations of themes taken from history, literature, and recent events to promote desired conduct among various social groups. This dimension of Chinese art history has never before been broadly covered or investigated in historical context. The first half of the study examines the nature of narrative illustration in China and traces the evolution of its functions, conventions, and rhetorical strategies from the second century BCE through the eleventh century. Under the stimulus of Buddhism, sophisticated techniques developed for representing stories in visual form. While tracing changes in the social functions and cultural positions of narrative illustration, the second half of the book argues that narrative illustration continued to play a vital role in elite visual culture.