Discourses on Eurasian exchanges in art, in particular the century-long presence of Asian material culture in Europe, have long left secluded academic circles and entered public spaces. Several exhibitions in Europe have showcased Eurasian object worlds; examples from 2006 to 2009 that put Sino-European exchange on display includeTreasures from Imperial China: The Forbidden City and the Royal Danish Court (Royal Silver Vault Copenhagen 2006), Goldener Drache – Weißer Adler: Kunst im Dienste der Macht am Kaiserhof von China und am sächsisch-polnischen Hof (1644-1795) (Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden 2008) and Die Wittelsbacher und das Reich der Mitte: 400 Jahre China und Bayern (Bayerisches Nationalmuseum 2009). The new interest in and awareness of global elements in European history, art and material culture goes beyond special exhibitions. Also permanent museum displays undergo changes to incorporate and exhibit European culture as entangled with ‘the Non-European’, developing and installing permanent exhibits that go beyond previous nationally defined visions to represent a ‘Global Renaissance’.
Globalization is not a new phenomenon, but can be traced back to early modern times. This has been argued by Geoffrey Gunn on the basis of his study of cultural interactions between Europe and Asia in First Globalization: The Eurasian Exchange, 1500-1800 (Gunn 2003). This and other related investigations of (early modern) history constitute a ‘global turn’ in the field, now being redefined as fresh material as well as approaches such as histoire croisée highlight transregional entanglement in place of histories framed within national units (Werner and Zimmermann 2003; Berg 2013). The discipline of Art History too has gone through a ‘global turn.’ In 2007 and 2008 the edited volumes Is Art History Global? and World Art Studies pointed to ways of overcoming existing separation between Western and Non-Western Art Histories (Elkins 2007; Van Damme and Zijlmans 2008). Since then art historiographical discourses cover a range of positions from geographically oriented approaches and anthropological methods to nuanced re-definitions of Art History as a universal toolkit and a fresh and self-reflexive disciplinary framework for the study in a global perspective (Summers 2003; Onians 2004; Kaufmann 2004; Juneja 2012).
These historiographical developments have had implications for the study of Eurasian exchanges in art and material culture. For many years Michael Sullivan’s The Meeting of Eastern and Western Art of 1989 was the only comprehensive study of the phenomenon of artistic exchange between East Asia and Europe (Sullivan 1989). In recent years however volumes such as Encounters: The Meeting of Asia and Europe, 1500-1800 (2004) and Artistic and Cultural Exchanges between Europe and Asia, 1400-1900 (2010) have brought forth important material (Jackson and Jaffer 2004; North 2010). Within the emerging field of Eurasian Art and Material Culture Studies, attention directed to the specific case of Sino-European artistic exchange throughout the centuries is a recent phenomenon (Ten-Doesschate Chu and Ding forthcoming 2015; Oliveira Lopes 2014).
What is still missing in ongoing academic and public discourses is a publication that brings together both strands of the field and applies the ambitious theoretical models of Global Art History to a number of clearly defined case studies of Eurasian exchange within a time frame encompassing the Qing Dynasty China (1644-1911), Edo Japan (1603-1868) and Early Modern Europe (circa 1600-1800). Engaging with both, the universally oriented as well as the geographically specific, the conference EurAsian Objects links objects of study to ongoing disciplinary debates, connecting Art History to Global Studies.
– What are the common grounds and terminologies that scholars from East Asia and Europe need to jointly develop to adequately study a shared past of Eurasian histories and object worlds?
– Which theoretical approaches and over-arching methods within the fields of Art History and Global Studies have the potential to unify a variety of case studies selected from Europe and East Asia within the timeframe of 1600 to 1800?
– How can the comparatively young field of study that engages with Eurasian exchange in art and material culture within the larger framework of Global Art History be effectively systematized?
– What are the larger implications and challenges of these investigations for “mainstream art history” and its narratives of “Western” civilization?
The conference will bring together a number of German scholars with junior and senior researchers based in Taiwan, the People’s Republic of China, Japan, Spain, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and the United States; it intends to publish a selected number of papers as part of the book-series Transcultural Studies of the Cluster of Excellence Asia and Europe in a Global Context, Heidelberg University. The collection will be edited by Wang Cheng-hua (associate researcher, Academia Sinica, Taipei), Monica Juneja (chair of Global Art History, Cluster of Excellence Asia and Europe in a Global Context, University of Heidelberg) and Anna Grasskamp (post-doctoral fellow, Cluster of Excellence Asia and Europe in a Global Context, University of Heidelberg).
13:00 – 13:30 Welcome and Introduction by the Organizer
Monica Juneja (Heidelberg University), Material Culture in a Global Context – Introductory Remarks
Anna Grasskamp (Heidelberg University), EurAsian Objects – An Introduction
13:30 – 15:40 Panel I EurAsian Worlds: Artifacts, Courts and Contacts
Wang Cheng-hua (Academia Sinica), Mapping and Territoriality: Cityscapes and Place-Making at the Qianlong Court (1736-1795)
Eva Ströber (Princessehof Leeuwarden), For Sultans, Grand Dukes and German Princes: Chinese Porcelain as Diplomatic Gift
Shih Ching-fei (National Taiwan University), Western Small-size Collectables in Treasure Boxes of Qianlong Period: A Cosmopolitan Corner at the 18th Century Qing Court
Chair and Discussant: Monica Juneja (Heidelberg University)
15:40 – 16:00 Coffee Break
16:00 – 18:15 Panel II Designing EurAsian Natures: (Images of) Transcultural Garden Spaces and Landscapes
Wang Lianming (Heidelberg University), Tamed Nature as the Mirror of Royal Identity: The Jesuits and the Construction of the European-Style Garden in Early Modern Beijing
Chang Sheng-ching (Fu Jen University), The Cosmopolitanism of the German Landscape Gardens and Chinoiserie in the 18th Century
Hsieh Chia-chuan (National Central University), Making and Viewing Chinese Landscape in Eighteenth-Century English Print Culture
Chair and Discussant: Anne Gerritsen (Leiden University and University of Warwick)
18:30 Dinner for invited participants
10:00 – 11:15 Panel III EurAsian Battlegrounds: Visual Representations of War and Empire
Annette Bügener (Chester Beatty Library): Commemorating the East Turkestan Campaign (1755-1759) in Portraiture: A Sino-European Painting Series Reconsidered
Ma Ya-chen (National Tsing Hua University), Manchu Martial Prowess Transformed: Commemorative Images of War and the Limits of the European Model
Chair and Discussant: Sarah Fraser (Heidelberg University)
11:15 – 11:30 Coffee Break
11:30 – 12:45 Panel IV EurAsian Collections: Image and Object Accumulation and Display
Friederike Wappenschmidt (Independent scholar), Chinese Paintings on European Walls: Sources, Objects, Interpretation
Cinta Krahe (Universidad de Alcalá de Henares), Porçelana de la China and other buxerías in Spain during the Habsburg Dynasty
Chair and Discussant: Anna Grasskamp (Heidelberg University)
12:45 – 13:30 Lunch for invited participants
13:30 – 14:45 Panel V Europe in China: Defining Europeanerie
Mei Mei Rado (Bard Graduate Center), Emperor Qianlong’s “Western Tapestries:” A Case Study of His “New Year Tapestry”
Qu Yi (Nanjing University of the Arts), Alphabetic Characters in European Images and their Influence in China
Chair and Discussant: Kristina Kleutghen (University of Washington, Saint Louis)
14:45 – 15:00 Coffee Break
15:00 – 17:10 Panel VI China in Europe: Chinoiserie Re-Visited
Sun Jing (Tsinghua University), The Role of Chinese Prints and Paintings in Johan Nieuhof’s Images of China
Mariachiara Gasparini (Heidelberg University), Qing Chinoiserie at the House of Bourbon: 18th Century Southern Italian Vision of China
Wu Wen-ting (Heidelberg University) Appropriating China: The Eighteenth-century European Creation of Chinese Porcelain
Chair and Discussant: Yao Ning (University of Erlangen-Nuremberg)
18:00 Reception for invited participants
9:30 – 12:00 Panel VII Framing Europe in Japan and Japan in Europe: Case Studies of Object Exchange and Visual Appropriation
Hidaka Kaori (National Museum of Japanese History), The Interactive Cultural Exchange between Japan and Europe Reflected in Japanese Export Lacquer of the 16th-19th Centuries
Wu Pei-jung (National Central University), New and Old Elements in Edo-Period Portraits: A Study on the Portraits of Baisaō by Itō Jakuchū
Lin Li-chiang (National Taiwan Normal University), Depicting Nagasaki: Ishizaki Yūshi’s Tōjinyashiki and Dejima Pictures
Eva Zhang (University of Saarbrucken), European Encounters of East Asia: The Tradition of Iconographical Developments and Visual Representations
Chair and Discussant: Melanie Trede (Heidelberg University)
12:00 – 12:15 Coffee Break
12:15 – 12:45 Final Discussion
Moderator: Sabine du Crest (Montaigne University, Bordeaux) and Anna Grasskamp (Heidelberg University)
12:45 – 13:45 Concluding lunch for invited participants
Anonymous, Treasure Box, pewter chased and inlaid with brass, China, circa 1800. ©Victoria and Albert Museum, 1454-1903.
ABSTRACTS IN ORDER OF PRESENTATION
Mapping and Territoriality: Cityscapes and Place-Making at the Qianlong Court (1736-1795), Wang Cheng-hua
Taking stock of the paintings with city views produced at the Qianlong court, this study provides a comprehensive analysis of these paintings from the perspective of how images associated with place-making signify the emperor’s political agenda. The imperial structure of place making not only includes cityscapes but also maps and images depicting battles, local peoples and customs, and imperial inspection tours. Through an understanding of this structure, the research tackles the two concepts—mapping and territoriality—detected from the specific features of these images that highlight the political agenda underlying their making. These features include the realistic rendering of important sites, the uses of bird’s-eye view and Western perspective, and the mapping effect that inscribes places onto the territory that was the Qing Empire. With these stylistic features, the structure helped the emperor to recognize, name, and claim possession of his territory and to codify places according to their position in the imperial framework of defining territoriality.
For Sultans, Grand Dukes and German Princes: Chinese Porcelain as Diplomatic Gift, Eva Ströber
Silk and Porcelain were the most important diplomatic gifts the Chinese emperor gave to foreign rulers. Silk is long gone; but porcelain, mysterious, beautiful and priceless, is preserved, sometimes documented. This talk will focus on three case studies of Chinese porcelain as diplomatic gifts, and will explain the specific role porcelain played in the diplomatic and cultural exchange of China, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Italy and Dresden in the 15th and 16th century.
Firstly, I will talk about the famous Princessehof dragon vase, made in the reign of the Yongle emperor (1403-1424), found in the Sangir Islands, now Indonesia, made as a diplomatic gift for a probably Muslim ruler on the archipelago and connected with the diplomatic missions, the Seven Sea Voyages of the Chinese admiral Zheng He. Secondly, I will mention a diplomatic gift of a celadon dish and vase from the Egypt sultan Qa’it Baj to the Medici in 1487, the porcelain with the inscriptions preserved in the Palazzo Pitti, Florence. Lastly, I will discuss a group of Chinese porcelain given by Ferdinando de Medici to the Saxon court in Dresden in 1590, preserved in the Porcelain Collection, Dresden, and documented in inventories from the 1590.
Western Small-size Collectables in Treasure Boxes of Qianlong Period: A Cosmopolitan Corner at the 18th Century Qing Court, Shih Ching-fei
This paper aims to explore the cultural exchange between the Qing Court and Europe, focusing on the Western small-size collectables within the treasure boxes composed at the Qianlong court during the 18th century. It will be divided into two parts. First, to explore new inspiration and elements of the Qianlong treasure boxes from Europe on the base of traditional techniques and concepts. According to my previous study linking the Qing Court treasure boxes with Augsburg cabinet of curiosities, although basic ideas and techniques of xiangong works (“immortal’s works”) and treasure boxes were already embedded in China, they were re-inspired/promoted by the newly imported European techniques, materials and concepts as shown in the exceptional techniques of Guangdong and the form and ideas of Qianlong court treasure boxes. Second, to discuss further the small-size collectables from Xiyang (the Western Ocean) within the Qianlong court treasure boxes, in comparison with the small-size collectables within the Augsburg cabinet of curiosities, in order to investigate cosmopolitan features at the Qing court.
Tamed Nature as the Mirror of Royal Identity: The Jesuits and the Construction of the European-Style Garden in Early Modern Beijing Wang Lianming
The “Western Mansions” of the Garden of Perfect Brightness (Yuanming Yuan; 1747-60) built by Jesuit court artists to satisfy the Qianlong emperor’s desire of exotic buildings, are generally considered to be the first architectural complexes invoking European garden designs in China. However, as extant visual sources suggest, affiliated to Beijing’s Jesuit Beitang-Church (l’èglise du Saint Sauveur), there was also a French formal garden, which emerged even earlier than the former. Considering its unique social and political function, this paper aims, first of all, to re-contextualize the first European garden in China by examining various forms of its visual representations, such as narrative paintings, architectural drawings, and city maps made by Chinese and European travellers as well as written records. How was the garden structured? Was the Chinese aesthetic integrated into the construction of the garden? Furthermore, with access to written sources additional information will determine how concrete ideas and pattern designs were obtained and where they came from. Based on these discussions, I will demonstrate the ways in which the La Flèche-model, a garden project sponsored by Henry IV (r. 1572-1610), was transferred into an eighteenth century Jesuit church in Beijing; and finally, ways in which this garden functioned as a physical site to practice French royal power and identity will be analysed.
The Cosmopolitanism of the German Landscape Gardens and Chinoiserie in the 18th Century, Chang Sheng-Ching
The following speech will focus on the Wörlitz garden of Anhalt-Dessau in Eastern Germany and other significant German landscape gardens. Also discussed will be the different styles of architecture and communal structures of the German landscape gardens. Many different garden architectural styles from various exotic countries came together to form an integral connection in the new German style gardens. These exotic influences included and combined predominantly Chinese, Egyptian, African, Arabic and South American styles. Ancient, middle aged, renaissance, baroque and classicism architecture were also drawn upon for inspiration in these new gardens. All of these historical sources combined to reinvigorate a once stagnant German garden culture. We will further show how all of the above styles of architecture and Chinoiserie coupled with reports from China are deeply and historically intertwined. The goal of the German landscape gardens of that time was to give the public a reflection of the macrocosm through the microcosms of these new gardens and architecture. By looking closely we can see on the smaller scale how the world works as a whole. These ideas helped to demonstrate a new cosmopolitan view of the world. This cosmopolitan idea was perfectly displayed in the Chinese gardens and inspired the Germans to demonstrate this idea through the lens of their own culture.
Not only was exotic architecture put into use, but landscaping methods from far off lands began to seep into the new German landscape gardens. The garden architect now had to ponder on how to combine both new exotic and ancient elements to create one cohesive natural whole. In the 18th century, Germany developed a new landscape garden style that would go on to further enlighten the rest of European landscape gardens into the next century. This new style also helped to bring about revolutionary changes in public green spaces in 19th century city plans as well as in world expositions.
Making and Viewing Chinese Landscape in Eighteenth-Century English Print Culture, Hsieh Chia-chuan
In the mid-eighteenth century London emerged as one of the major centres publishing topographical views of both Europe and other continents, a phenomenon which accompanied the rise of travel and the promotion of geographical knowledge. The land of China was one such area of interest that not only books of travel accounts included illustrations showing Chinese land but also publishers began to issue prints representing Chinese scenery. While some of these printed images derived directly from their European predecessors such as the illustrations in Johan Nieuhof’s travel account, others went beyond those prototypes and provided new – though not necessarily factual – insights to the landscape of China. This paper attempts to explore the scope and significance of these prints published in England in the latter half of the eighteenth century, not in the context of the fashion of Chinoiserie, but in relation to the development of geographical studies.
Commemorating the East Turkestan Campaign (1755-1759) in Portraiture: A Sino-European Painting Series Reconsidered, Annette Bügener
The victorious conquest of the western regions what we today call Xinjiang under the command of the Qianlong emperor (r. 1736-1795) marked the starting point of a painting programme which in earlier studies has mainly been considered as of historical importance. Based on a thorough documentation and analysis of still extant portraits of meritorious officials (gongchenxiang 功臣像 or gongchentu 功臣圖) in various formats (hanging scroll, handscroll, bust portrait in oil) this paper examines the influence of Western painting techniques introduced by European missionary artists in the imperial painting academy focussing on face and body as well as the stages of the work process. Proposing a continuous tradition of the “hero portrait” and hero worship through history the paper sheds new light on the political and religious functions of this painting genre in the context of mid-Qing war propaganda and state ritual in a multi-ethnic empire.
Manchu Martial Prowess Transformed: Commemorative Images of War and the Limits of the European Model, Ma Ya-chen
Although the assumption of Europe as a universal model has been contested by scholars for decades, the extreme case of the copperplate prints East Turkestan Campaign makes difficult any challenge to Eurocentric scholarship in the context of art history. Drafted by Jesuits, sent to Paris to be engraved and printed, and imbued with European pictorial features such as perspective and modelling, the Qianlong emperor’s commission East Turkestan Campaign often impels art historians to identify its European origin. This paper compares the making of imperial images of war in France with that in China and explains their differences according to their historical conditions. By examining what Chinese and French imperial images of war appear corresponding and diverse and analysing whether their resemblance reflects a similar underlying process, this paper attempts to situate the visual development of the both realms in global art history.
Chinese Paintings on European Walls: Sources, Objects, Interpretation, Friederike Wappenschmidt
As paintings from China were seen for the first time in Europe’s royal collections during the sixteenth century, art theorists like the Jesuit Matteo Ricci in 1602 as well as Joachim von Sandrart in 1668 expressed critique about the lack of oil paint or the use of perspective.
Since the Europeans did not want to classify Chinese export-paintings – which were orientated towards the figure-painting or flower- and bird painting of the Imperial Academy of Pekin – as serious artistic expression, they discovered that it served quite well as an extraordinary material for wall coverings. Above all the brilliant colors and the motifs taking the beholder to an exotic land of fantasy, which around 1700 began to spread on the walls of the Chinese interiors of feudal buildings.
Between 1700 and 1850 Cantonese export-painters produced hundreds of wallpapers for European Castles; but the European opinion on its low artistic standard never changed.
Porçelana de la China and other buxerías in Spain during the Habsburg Dynasty, Cinta Krahe
Access to the sources of supply of Chinese porcelain became much easier from the beginning of the colonization of the Philippines in 1571, when regular trade was established between China, The Philippines, Mexico and Spain. However there are only a few extant pieces of Spanish-Habsburg commissioned porcelain, and none of them remain today in Spain. King Philip II’s collection of Chinese porcelain was in its day the largest in Europe. Sadly, nothing is left of that voluminous collection, which held a little more than 3,000 pieces. On the other hand, some of the inventories of Spanish Habsburg monarchs and noblemen reveal that they once had varying amounts of Chinese porcelain in their households. This paper will examine the reception of Chinese porcelain in the 16th and 17th century through the research of different archives of the Spanish royal families, eminent nobles and other individuals, in order to establish the appreciation, use and monetary value attributed to Chinese porcelain in the general context of the so-called “sumptuary” arts in Spain.
Emperor Qianlong’s “Western Tapestries:” A Case Study of His “New Year Tapestry”, Mei Mei Rado
Focusing on two surviving versions of Emperor Qianlong’s “New Year Tapestry” made in the 1770s, this paper investigates the long forgotten history of Qing court production and display of hybrid tapestries. Inspired by the second Beauvais “Tenture chinoise” presented to Qianlong in 1766, this group of tapestries combined Chinese and European motifs, visual styles, and weaving techniques. Called ‘Western tapestries” in the Qing court document and favored by Qianlong, they represent the Qing imperial experimentation of tapestry making in a hybrid mode. I will explore the changing concept of tapestry in the Qing court, the pictorial and material interplay between the foreign and the indigenous in these tapestries, and their relationship to the palace space and the imperial body. I argue that these newly invented “Western tapestries” served as a productive site for artistic experimentation and played a vital part in Qing imperial life and the construction of the emperorship.
Alphabetic Characters in European Images and their Influence in China, Qu Yi
In 1637 Jesuits published the first printed books with illustrations about the life of Jesus, namely Tianzhu jiangsheng chuxiang jingjie 天主降生出像經解(Explanation of the canonical book about the incarnation of the Lord of Heaven with selected illustrations, hereafter: Explanation of the canonical book) in Fujian 福建. It was inspired by a European model, the illustrated book – Evangelicae historiae imagines, published by the Jesuit Jerónimo Nadal (1507–1580) posthumously in 1593 Antwerp, a treatise strictly oriented toward the four gospels and used for spiritual exercises.
In the place of alphabetical characters in the European engravings, the Chinese woodcuts employed Chinese Heavenly Stems (天干tiangan) in the illustrations to mark the corresponding comments of the sequence for different scenes. Therefore the Chinese woodcuts assimilated the pictorial structures of simultaneous narratives from their European models.
By tracing both Chinese and European pictorial traditions, this paper points out that when the Jesuits came to China at the beginning of the 17th century, the pictorial depiction with sequential characters started to be introduced in China, and argues that its influence went beyond religious realms, affecting also profane context, especially 17th and 18th century Chinese science.
The Role of Chinese Prints and Paintings in Johan Nieuhof’s Images of China, Sun Jing
With more than 150 engravings illustrated in the book Het Gezantschap, Johan Nieuhof’s images of China greatly visualized the notion of China for the Western public in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. They are believed to be made on the basis of Nieuhof’s direct observations, considering Dutch pictorial tradition in the seventeenth century. However, the role of Chinese prints and paintings which might be exposed to Nieuhof during his stay in China should not be ignored, as some resemblances can be seen in his drawings in the manuscript and the engravings in the printed book. In this paper, I intend to analyze the issues including what kind of role that Chinese prints and paintings may have played in Nieuhof’s representation of China, how he balanced reality and imagination while he sought to satisfy European public’s curiosity and expectation of this exotic country, and documented the encounter of Europe and the Far East in the 17th century.
Qing Chinoiserie at the House of Bourbon: 18th Century Southern Italian Vision of China, Mariachiara Gasparini
The phenomenon called chinoiserie that began to spread into Europe since the seventeenth century changed the artistic development of many media; however, the former Kingdom of the Two Sicilies in southern Italy is not usually associated with the reception and the adoption of Chinese art in Europe. The so-called ‘Chinese Room’ (1757) in the Royal Palace of Portici (now in the Museum of Capodimonte), Naples, and the ‘Chinese Palace’ (1799) in Palermo, Sicily, are two magnificent examples of eighteenth century southern Italian Baroque ‘Chinese-like’ architectures.
This paper analyses historical and aesthetic aspects of two—not yet well known—`southern Italian chinoisierie´ included in the artistic development of Neapolitan and Sicilian Baroque-Rococo. The Baroque movement indeed became a mark of worldwide royal courts that in spite of distance and cultural differences shared similar taste for redundant motifs and bright colours.
Appropriating China: The Eighteenth-century European Creation of Chinese Porcelain, Wu Wen-Ting
As Chinese porcelain was still enormously desired in eighteenth-century Europe, to produce “Chinese-like” porcelain remained the leading goal of European manufacturers.
In this paper I intend to analyze three features of the eighteenth-century European creation of Chinese porcelain: (1) The systematic production according to Chinese porcelain categories; (2) The increasingly precise interpretations and representations of Chinese motifs by porcelain decoration; (3) The adoption, conceptualization and application of the Chinese porcelain features to other art practices, through which I illustrate my argument that Chinese porcelain and Chinese culture were perceived and appropriated differently in eighteenth-century Europe in comparison with earlier periods, and along with this I reveal, how the “European-made” Chinese style was concretized.
The Interactive Cultural Exchange between Japan and Europe Reflected in the Japanese Export Lacquer in the 16th-19th Century, Hidaka Kaori
European contact with East Asia in the sixteenth century led to a major expansion of trade in Japanese lacquer beyond East Asia.
The styles of export lacquer were determined by the collaboration between the Europeans who placed orders and the Japanese who manufactured them. These wares-for-export reflected both European perceptions of Asia and Japanese perceptions of Europe.
Export lacquer produced for foreign consumption required certain elements, specifically exotic elements, that made it different from lacquer for domestic markets. But, at the same time, producers of export lacquer needed to produce goods that foreign consumers could understand and use, and so they had to limit the extent of such exotic differences. This means that the expectations of export lacquer must have changed gradually as the degree of mutual understanding of their cultures deepened.
In this presentation I will discuss how the shapes, decorative motifs, and techniques of Japanese export lacquer reflected relations and mutual understanding between Japan, East Asia, and Europe.
New and Old Elements in Edo-Period Portraits: A Study on the Portraits of Baisaō by Itō Jakuchū, Wu Pei-jung
This study will discuss a group of portraits of Baisaō 売茶翁 (1675-1763) painted by Itō Jakuchū 伊藤若沖 (1716-1800), with four on paper, two on silk, and one printed. Although the issue that some Edo-period portraits displaying foreign elements has been discussed by scholars, focuses have generally been on the works by specific painters who clearly accepted the Western influences. This study, however, will focus on the portraits which hold no immediately identifiable Western traits, but were likely inspired by Western visual resources since some depictions significantly differ from either Japanese or Chinese tradition. This case may prompt us to rethink what the range of the Western influences was and how painters fused new elements into an established tradition.
Depicting Nagasaki: Ishizaki Yūshi’s Tōjinyashiki and Dejima Pictures, Lin Li-chiang
This article will study the images of Nagasaki made in early modern Japan in order to illuminate how the different cultures were perceived and presented in this area. Ever since the early 17th century, Nagasaki was the only city in Japan to trade with foreign countries. This unusual situation makes Nagasaki an exceptional example to observe the meeting, colliding and merging of different cultures. It will focus especially on the pictures of the Tōjinyashiki 唐人屋敷 (Chinese residence) and the Dejima 出島 (Dutch factory). The Tōjinyashiki and Dejima pictures were among the most distinctive groups of Nagasaki images as well as symbols of the Nagasaki port. Many paintings were created to illustrate these two foreign residences and very often they were made as a pair, whether in the format of scroll paintings, prints or screen paintings. This article will collect and carefully examine the related images of these pictures, with a special focus on those by Ishizaki Yūshi 石崎融思 (1768-1846), who was one of the most important artists of his time in the Nagasaki area. The ways that Ishizaki depicted and utilized the images of Tōjinyashiki and Dejima were creative and complex. This article hopes to reveal his learning from the different traditions and his skillful appropriations as well. Through a careful reading and analysis of the Nagasaki images, this article aims to investigate the convergences and negotiations of Western civilization (represented in and brought by the Dutch) and East Asian civilization (represented and conveyed by the Chinese) with local Japanese culture. It shall then further our understanding of the various and dynamic visual cultures produced by the encounters of European and East Asian cultures in the Nagasaki areas.
European Encounters of East Asia: The Tradition of Iconographical Developments and Visual Representations, Eva Zhang
During the sixteenth century, more and more Europeans travelled to East Asia and returned home with their own ideas, pictures and stories from these journeys. Western missionaries, traders and scholars created a multitude of diverse and colorful images of East Asia. Through these numerous encounters and constantly growing flows of information, Europe’s perceptions of Asia gradually evolved into a more empirical view of the continent. Hence in the end of the 17th century an Asian fashion hype occurred, which had a sizeable impact on the European court cultures and intellectual circles.
In order to visualize the alterity of Asian culture, new visual and iconographic codes were invented. What kinds of images (visual and verbal) were adopted and exchanged between Asia and Europe, how were these images modified in order to create a European vision of Asia? The encounters and exchanges between Europe and Asia also impacted on the self-definition of these societies. On the basis of these different internal and external perceptions, new notions of “otherness” and “identity” occurred.
This paper will focus on two masterpieces visualizing East Asia as seen from a European perspective onto a global world. Firstly, an analysis of Jan van Kessel’s panel Asia from his 1660th Munich cycle of ‘The Four Continents’ will localize the European perception of Asia within the notion of the hierarchy of continents. Secondly, the tapestry L’Histoire de l’Empereur de Chine from the French Beauvais manufactory will present the diplomatic relations of the Court of Louis XIV and the Chinese emperor Kangxi. Both masterpieces reflect the Western idea of parity of European and East Asian culture. At the same time, these objects make reference to the concept of a mighty and exotic ‘other’. In both cases, the creation of the two artworks relies entirely on western sources, in particular on Dutch and Jesuit prints that were crucial for Europe’s early modern perception of Asia.