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Grant number: FB-57302-13

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FB-57302-13

Heping Liu
Wellesley College (Wellesley, MA 02481-8203)

The Relation between Painting and Empire in Early Northern Song China, 960-1063

The first century of the Song dynasty (960-1279) marked a turning point in Chinese history when the concept of empire underwent a fundamental change. The rise of the imperial cult brought about new modes of patronage, new expectation for painters, and high achievements in the art of painting. The Song Painting Academy, founded in 984 as the world’s first of its kind, was closely tied to the life of the early Song Empire from its conception. My book is the first in-depth study to investigate the complex relationship of empire and painting in the early Song. It consists of eight chapters: The emperor; The allure of the Academy; Outside the academy; The eunuchs; Yu the Great controlling the flood; The Temple of Jade Purity; Empress Liu’s Icon of Maitreya; and Four events of the Jingde Era. All explore the various dimensions of a central question: How did the practice of painting, in and outside the Academy, contribute to the formation, legitimacy, and propagation of the new empire?

Project fields:
Art History and Criticism

Program:
Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars

Division:
Research Programs

Total amounts:
$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2013 – 6/30/2014