Eight studies examine key features of Chinese visual and material cultures, ranging from tomb design, metalware, ceramic pillows, and bronze mirrors, to printed illustrations, calligraphic rubbings, colophons, and paintings on Buddhist, landscape, and narrative themes. Questions addressed include how artists and artisans made their works, the ways both popular literature and market forces could shape ways of looking, and how practices and imagery spread across regions. The authors connect visual materials to funeral and religious practices, drama, poetry, literati life, travel, and trade, showing ways visual images and practices reflected, adapted to, and reproduced the culture and society around them. Readers will gain a stronger appreciation of the richness of the visual and material cultures of Middle Period China.
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Patricia Buckley Ebrey is Professor of History at the University of Washington. A specialist in Song history, her forays into Song visual and material culture include Accumulating Culture: The Collections of Emperor Huizong (2008) and Emperor Huizong (2014).
Shih-shan Susan Huang is Associate Professor Art History at Rice University (PhD., Yale University). An art historian specializing in Daoist and Buddhist visual cultures, she is the author of Picturing the True Form: Daoist Visual Culture in Traditional China (2012).