Cover: The Compelling Image in HARDCOVER

The Compelling Image

Nature and Style in Seventeenth-Century Chinese Painting

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Product Details


$224.00 • £179.95 • €201.50

ISBN 9780674152809

Publication Date: 01/01/1982


276 pages

240 b/w, 14 color halftones, 1 line illustration, 2 maps

Belknap Press

The Charles Eliot Norton Lectures


A book of immense breadth… With its profundity and richness…this book is one no serious student of Chinese art can afford to be without.—Ellen Johnston Laing, Ars Orientalis

A generously illustrated book, extraordinarily rich in insights, ideas, and information… Cahill throws light on individuals and specific issues, bringing out the diversity of what he portrays as an intensely experimental, ‘self-conscious’ age of Chinese painting… Perhaps the single most important contribution to the book is Cahill’s demonstration of western influence on Chinese painting from the beginning of the seventeenth century… His analysis of this question, and of many others, opens new doors for the field, which will never truly be the same.—Susan E. Nelson, Journal of Asian History

Among the most important works on later Chinese painting to appear in any Western language.—Thomas Lawton, Director, Freer Gallery

The book gives compelling lessons on what to see, where to look, and how to infer ideas and meaning through pictorial form and techniques… For breaking new grounds in the study of Chinese paintings, for teaching us how to look, and for bringing issues of Chinese art into the wider perspective of art history, we award the 1982 Charles Rufus Morey Award for the best art history book of the year to James Cahill’s The Compelling Image.Citation presented by the College Art Association of America

Awards & Accolades

  • 1982 Charles Rufus Morey Award, College Art Association of America
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