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Lifiting of the Siege from Chang Shen-chih's Revised Edition of the Romance of the Western Chamber, with Northern Melodies
Lifiting of the Siege from Chang Shen-chih's Revised Edition of the Romance of the Western Chamber, with Northern Melodies

Written by Wang Shih-fu, Yuan Dynasty Illustrated by Chen Hung-shou Imprint by Hsiang Nan-chou
Ming Dynasty (1639)

 

She Inclines Her Shoulders to Pick a Flower from Li Cho-wu's Annotated Editon of the Romance of the Western Chamber
She Inclines Her Shoulders to Pick a Flower from Li Cho-wu's Annotated Editon of the Romance of the Western Chamber

Written by Wang Shih-fu, Yuan Dynasty
Illustrated by Chen Hung-shou
Imprint by Hsiang Nan-chou
Chung-chen Reign (1628-1644)
Ming Dynasty

National Palace Museum

Subtle Portraiture and Exquisite Carving:
An Exhibition of Figure Illustrations from Plays and Novels of Imperial China
Gallery 313
2002/01/04 - 2002/04/30

The art of woodblock printing has a long history in China.  The earliest images were illustrated Buddhist scriptures, which appeared during the Sui, Tang, and Five Dynasties (6th to 10th centuries).  With the progressive advancement of engraved woodblock printing, the production of illustrated books gradually became commonplace.  The great economic growth that began in the reign of the Ming emperor Wan-li (r. 1573-1620) sparked a period of intense literary creativity.  Responding to the popularity of novels, plays and other such vernacular compositions, private printers invested huge sums of money to enlist literati artists and craftsmen to produce pictorial editions of the most successful works.  Their efforts mark the late Ming as a golden age in the history of Chinese book illustration.

 

The Art of Cut Silk From Poussin to Cezanne Liao Chi-chun’s Mastery of Colors The Art and Aesthetic of Form
The Ancient Art of Writing Subtle Portraiture and Exquisite Carving: Japanese Lacquerware from the Ching Imperial Collection
Jan - Mar, 2002 Issue  Museum Previous Issues