Tags for: “Heaven Is High and the Emperor Is Far Away”: Jiangnan in Ming-Dynasty China
  • Lecture

The Pauline and Joseph Degenfelder Distinguished Lecture in Chinese Art

detail of a Chinese handscroll painting

The Nine Elders of the Mountain of Fragrance (detail), 1426–52. Attributed to Xie Huan (謝環) (Chinese, c. 1370–c. 1450). Handscroll; ink and color on silk; 29.4 x 148.9 cm. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Bequest of Mrs. A. Dean Perry, 1997.99

“Heaven Is High and the Emperor Is Far Away”: Jiangnan in Ming-Dynasty China

Sunday, November 5, 2023, 2:00 p.m.
Location:  Gartner Auditorium

About The Event

Although the Jiangnan region of China, meaning “south of the Yangtze,” was the site of the first Ming dynasty capital, the court relocated to the north of China half a century after the dynasty’s founding. From this time, emperors and their immediate families were largely absent from the culture of this prosperous and vibrant heartland. But many ties still linked the culture of Jiangnan’s “Southern Paradise” and that of the Ming court. This lecture focuses on what artworks, as well as literature, can tell us about the often-fraught relationship between Jiangnan, its people, and their distant rulers in the north.

Craig Clunas is the first scholar of Asian art to hold the chair of art history at the University of Oxford. Educated in Cambridge, Beijing, and London, he began his career as a curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. He is the author of numerous works on Chinese art and culture, particularly of the Ming period. He is a fellow of the British Academy and, in 2012, delivered the Mellon Lectures at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.

Lecture Recording


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