Telling Images of China


By Shane McCausland and Ling Lizhong; price: € 15.00


Telling Images of China is an exhibition of early modern and modern paintings from one of the world’s finest collections of Chinese art - the Shanghai Museum. The thirty-eight figural works were selected by a team of curators, including Professor Shan Guolin and Mr Ling Lizhong of the Shanghai Museum, and Dr Shane McCausland of the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin. They include scrolls and albums by artists - both pre-eminent and obscure - active in the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties, and the twentieth century.

These narrative or ‘story paintings’, an emerging topic in Asian art history, retell or illustrate tales of some kind. The sources range across folk and religious lore, oral and official history, and poetry and literature. This book, co-authored by Shane McCausland and Ling Lizhong, presents a series of interpretative essays and descriptions of these paintings, accompanied by full-colour illustrations and many details. The main themes of the exhibition are introduced under the headings; ‘Stories of Crossings: Exiles, Loyalists, Rustics’; ‘Religious Lore and Legends of the Supernatural’; ‘Some Models in History and Culture’; and ‘Romances and Tales of Talent and Beauty’.