HARVARD-YENCHING INSTITUTE MONOGRAPH SERIES
Cover: Poetry and Painting in Song China: The Subtle Art of Dissent, from Harvard University PressCover: Poetry and Painting in Song China in PAPERBACK

Harvard-Yenching Institute Monograph Series 50

Poetry and Painting in Song China

The Subtle Art of Dissent

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Product Details

PAPERBACK

$35.00 • £27.95 • €31.50

ISBN 9780674007826

Publication: April 2002

Short

440 pages

8-1/2 x 11 inches

44 halftones, 2 maps

Harvard University Asia Center > Harvard-Yenching Institute Monograph Series

World, subsidiary rights restricted

Throughout the history of imperial China, the educated elite used various means to criticize government policies and actions. During the Song dynasty (960-1278), some members of this elite found an elegant and subtle means of dissent: landscape painting.

By examining literary archetypes, the titles of paintings, contemporary inscriptions, and the historical context, Alfreda Murck shows that certain paintings expressed strong political opinions--some transparent, others deliberately concealed. She argues that the coding of messages in seemingly innocuous paintings was an important factor in the growing respect for painting among the educated elite and that the capacity of painting’s systems of reference to allow scholars to express dissent with impunity contributed to the art’s vitality and longevity.