Cover: Picturing the True Form: Daoist Visual Culture in Traditional China, from Harvard University PressCover: Picturing the True Form in PAPERBACK

Harvard East Asian Monographs 342

Picturing the True Form

Daoist Visual Culture in Traditional China

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Product Details


$39.95 • £31.95 • €36.00

ISBN 9780674504288

Publication Date: 02/23/2015


526 pages

8 x 10 inches

80 color illustrations, 46 halftones, 242 line illustrations

Harvard University Asia Center > Harvard East Asian Monographs


Picturing the True Form undertakes a path-breaking and comprehensive treatment of a highly important topic in the study of Chinese religions: the nature and cultural import of Daoist art. With an unprecedented level of analysis and meticulous attention to detail, Susan Huang considers Daoist artworks from the perspective of cultural history and presents exciting new data on how Daoist art differed from that of Buddhism. The result is not only an assiduous investigation of Daoist visual culture, but a veritable history of Daoism itself.—Paul Katz, Institute of Modern History, Academia Sinica

Huang’s book is an enormously valuable and monumental undertaking, highly recommended, and will go far to spread awareness of the vast Daoist visual lexicon.—Stephen Little, Los Angeles County Museum of Art

The first of its kind, Picturing the True Form is a comprehensive mapping of Daoist images found in various media—paintings, diagrams, drawings, and woodblock prints scattered throughout the Daoist canon. Not only is the sheer magnitude of such an undertaking remarkable, but the judicious discrimination the author brings to bear in sorting out the visual materials makes this book all the more commendable. A sturdy building block in laying out a new field in the study of Daoist images, it will easily become a go-to volume on the nature and use of Daoist images.—Eugene Wang, Harvard University

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