Children in Chinese Art
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Depictions of children have had a prominent place in Chinese art since the Song period (960-1279). Yet one would be hard pressed to find any significant discussion of children in art in the historical documents of imperial China or contemporary scholarship on Chinese art. Children in Chinese Art brings to the forefront themes and motifs that have crossed social boundaries for centuries but have been overlooked in scholarly treatises. In this volume, experts in the fields of art, religion, literature, and history introduce and elucidate many of the issues surrounding child imagery in China, including its use for didactic reinforcement of social values as well as the amuletic function of these works. The introduction provides a thoughtprovoking overview of the history of depictions of children, exploring both stylistic development and the emergence of specific themes. In an insightful essay, China specialists combine expertise in literature and painting to propose that the focus on children in both genres during the Song is an indication of a truly humane society. Skillful use of visual and textual sources from the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) period explains children's game.
Plate 5 Tomb ﬁgure of a young girl. Tang, early eighth century. Earthenware; 30.2 cm. Private collection. Plate 6 Su Hanchen (twelfth century), attrib., Children Playing in an Autumn Garden. Song, early twelfth century. Hanging scroll; ink and color on silk; 197.5 x 108.7 cm. Collection of the National Palace Museum. Taiwan, Republic of China. Plate 7 Winter Play. Song, 960–1279. Hanging scroll; ink and colors on silk; 196.2 x 107.1 cm. Collection of the National Palace Museum. Taiwan,
respect, and belief in the universality of “human feeling” not only within the context of Chinese traditions but in that of the larger world. Children would not receive such a high level of individual attention anywhere in the world again for several centuries. 56 3 One Hundred Children: From Boys at Play to Icons of Good Fortune Terese Tse Bartholomew The theme of boys playing in a garden was an established subject in the paintings of the Song dynasty (960–1279). It continued to be a
shooting at three citrus fruits. This phrase refers to the three civil service examinations of China. The top candidate of the juren degree is known as jieyuan, the person who places ﬁrst for the jinshi degree is called huiyuan, while zhuangyuan is the top candidate in the palace examination. Lianzhong sanyuan therefore means one successively claims the titles of jieyuan, huiyuan, and zhuangyuan in one’s lifetime. In the picture, three oranges (san yuan) impaled by arrows are on the ground. To
century, refer to the adept’s need to visualize the infant within. Excerpts from Livia Kohn’s translation: The Yellow Court is in the head. It encompasses three palaces known as the Hall of Light, the Grotto Chamber, and the Cinnabar Field. Enter between the eyebrows toward the back of the head. . . . . . . The Yellow Court is paired with the Grotto Chamber. Together they bring forth an infant god, who is their resident perfected. Always visualize him! Be careful not to lose the image. The infant
depictions of the Buddha’s life provided a model for the pictorial biographies of a range of extraordinary beings and, indeed, may have inspired the devotees of other gods to produce such accounts. Accordingly, it is useful to examine the evolution of Chinese conceptions of the life of the Buddha, before returning to Houji and other Chinese gods and sages. P B B The earliest surviving Chinese depictions of the life of the Buddha Shakyamuni are incised on the backs of