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This book is the first comprehensive study of an important monument of twelfth-century Chinese art, the imperially sponsored set of handscrolls transcribing and illustrating the poems in the ancient anthology known as the Book of Odes (Shijing), long canonized as a "Confucian classic." The project is reconstructed and analyzed as the centerpiece of Southern Song emperor Gaozong's efforts to bring about a dynastic revival and to persuade the Confucian official-elite of his own legitimacy to rule. The artist Ma Hezhi's compositions are shown to have been conceived in awareness of literary tradition and antiquarian currents in Song intellectual life. Vigorous connoisseurship is applied to solve the longstanding problem of separating "original" scrolls from "copies," and all extant scrolls are systematically catalogued in an appendix.
Reviews & endorsements
"Murray's study does an exemplary job of presenting and analyzing the scrolls....An excellent source for scholars of Chinese religions as well as students of art and literature." Linda L. Lam-Easton, Religious Studies ReviewSee more reviews
"As the first book-length, monographic analysis of an important set of poetic illustrations, Murray's examination of the Odes handscrolls is a serviceable addition to the growing list of works on Chinese poetic illustration in the handscroll format, most of which are still in the form of unpublished dissertations. The discussion of Ma Hezhi's biography will certainly become standard in the art historical literature, as will the formal stylistic and compositional study of the paintings and calligraphy." Deborah Del Gais Muller, China Review International
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- Date Published: March 1993
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9780521417877
- length: 272 pages
- dimensions: 262 x 212 x 24 mm
- weight: 1.265kg
- contains: 132 b/w illus. 8 tables
- availability: Unavailable - out of print October 2007
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