Empire of Great Brightness: Visual And Material Cultures of Ming China, 1368-1644

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9780824831493: Empire of Great Brightness: Visual And Material Cultures of Ming China, 1368-1644
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Empire of Great Brightness is an innovative and accessible history of a high point in Chinese culture, seen through the riches of its images and objects. Not a simple emperor-by-emperor history, it instead introduces the reader to themes that provide stimulating and original points of entry to the culture of China: to ideas of motion and rest, to the position occupied by writing and objects featuring writing; to ideas about pleasure, about violence and ageing. It challenges notions of Ming China as a culture closed off from the rest of the world, by emphasizing the vibrant interactions between China and the rest of Asia at this period. Craig Clunas uses a wide range of pictures and objects from Ming China to illustrate familiar areas such as painting and ceramics (including the blue-and-white porcelain of the period, arguably the world's first global "brand"). He draws on items from public and private collections from around the world, which will be new even to specialists, including weapons, architecture, textiles and items of dress, printed books (from Ming pornography to the world's first illustrated reading book for children). He also examines contemporary sources from government edicts to novels and phrasebooks of colloquial Chinese as well as the most recent scholarship, to illuminate this most diverse period of Chinese art and culture.

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About the Author:

Craig Clunas is professor of History of Art at the University of Oxford. He is the author of many books, including Fruitful Sites: Garden Culture in Ming Dynasty China and Elegant Debts: The Social Art of Wen Zhengming, also published by Reaktion Books.

Review:

“An excellent companion for the study of Ming art, as well as giving established scholars food for thought and engaging in Ming Chinese culture.”
(Art Newspaper)

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9781861893604: Empire of Great Brightness: Visual and Material Cultures of Ming China, 1368-1644

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ISBN 10:  1861893604 ISBN 13:  9781861893604
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9781861893314: Empire of Great Brightness

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