Jonathan Chaves, Ronald Egan, Stephen Little and Wan Kong,Los Angeles, 2016.
Hardcover, 668 pages, 485 color illustrations, 9.8 x 12 x 2.5 inches.
A rare collection of Chinese paintings is magnificently presented in 17th-Century Chinese Paintings from the Tsao Family Collection, which explores a politically turbulent yet creatively dynamic period in China’s history. This publication is issued on the occasion of the exhibition Alternative Dreams on view at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art from August 7 through December 4, 2016.
Comprising 131 paintings from the 17th century, the Tsao Family Collection is singularly comprehensive, including works by nearly all of the most important Chinese painters of the period. This book features 15 works by Dong Qichang, the most protean Chinese painter of the last 500 years; paintings by masters such as Gong Xian, Hongren, Bada shanren, Shitao, Wang Hui, and Wang Yuanqi; and extremely rare works by lesser-known artists, scholars, officials, and Buddhist monks. Divided into sections that encompass both the late Ming Dynasty and the early Qing Dynasty, this volume also includes fascinating essays on a number of themes, such as the function of landscape in Chinese culture, the political uses of painting in 17th-century China, the relationship of Chinese painting to poetry, the flourishing of Buddhist and Daoist studies among late Ming and early Qing literati, and orthodoxy and painting of the era. Rounding out the volume are new and authoritative interpretations of the Tsao Collection written by leading scholars and remarkable new translations by Jonathan Chaves, Ronald Egan, and others, of the Chinese poems and prose texts inscribed on the paintings and calligraphic works in the exhibition. Edited by Stephen Little and Wan Kong.