Home » Elegant Debts: The Social Art of Wen Zhengming by Craig Clunas
Elegant Debts: The Social Art of Wen Zhengming Craig Clunas

Elegant Debts: The Social Art of Wen Zhengming

Craig Clunas

Published October 1st 2003
ISBN : 9780824827724
Hardcover
232 pages
Enter the sum

 About the Book 

This book takes an innovative approach to one of the great figures of Chinese culture, the writer and painter Wen Zhengming (1470-1559). Renowned as one of the great scholar painters of the Ming dynasty, Wen was enmeshed in a complex web of socialMoreThis book takes an innovative approach to one of the great figures of Chinese culture, the writer and painter Wen Zhengming (1470-1559). Renowned as one of the great scholar painters of the Ming dynasty, Wen was enmeshed in a complex web of social obligations, his elegant debts as he called them, which led to many of his most celebrated works. Using an unprecedented quantity of primary sources for his life and work, Elegant Debts looks at the ways in which social obligation and gift exchange were central to personal and individual identity in the Ming period. The book also examines Wens family relationships, his friends, mentors, and pupils, his sense of a distinct local identity, and the interplay of national and regional politics with the achievements of his long life. It uses the insights of a range of scholarship--art history, social and literary history, and anthropology--to show how self was constructed in Ming China. In doing so, it makes a major contribution toward a more diverse art history that is less dependent on European conceptions of artists and their work. Craig Clunas has published extensively in the field, and is widely recognized as one of the worlds leading scholars of Ming culture. Featuring many images of the work of one of Chinas major painters, this book is accessible to all who are interested in Chinas culture and history, as well as to students and scholars of art history and the history of culture.