Internet Guide for Chinese Studies Newsletter
25 Dec 2006, reviewed by Hanno Lecher

New in IGCS - History (

Recording the grandeur of the Qing : the southern inspection tour scrolls of the Kangxi and Qianlong emperors

Ed./Corp.: Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY, USA ; Columbia University, New York, NY, USA.
Language: English.

Supplied note: "[...] explores the art, government, and commerce of the Qing dynasty (1644-1912) through the presentation of four monumental artworks of the period. These four works are part of two larger sets of scrolls detailing the inspection tours of the realm undertaken by the two greatest Qing monarchs - Kangxi (r. 1662-1722) in 1689, and his grandson Qianlong (r. 1736-96) in 1751, in emulation of his grandfather. [...] Close-up views, interactive scenes, and descriptive essays together give viewers an intimate look at: (1) the commercial life of a busy Chinese city, where viewers encounter landmarks familiar to tourists today; (2) the two emperors themselves, including their extensive entourage, the imperial pomp and pageantry surrounding their travels, and the reception they received from their subjects as they toured Southern China, and their duties as emperors and their responsibilities in maintaining the Mandate of Heaven; (3) the conventions of Chinese painting during this time, and the influence of the techniques of Jesuit artists on these conventions; (4) the Qianlong emperor inspecting water control methods along the Grand Canal and visiting the Silk Commissioner in Suzhou; (5) famous landmarks, such as the Grand Canal, Mount Tai, and Tiger Hill in the city of Suzhou.
In addition, several complementary topical essays discuss the following: (a) how the government of 18th-century China impressed European political thinkers of the time; (b) the thriving and sophisticated economy of China under the Qing; (c) the role of silver in China's economy and the impact of the Chinese demand for silver on the world economy; (d) the creation of a multi-ethnic state in China, which students can compare with the contemporaneous Russian and Ottoman empires; (e) the creation of the 'Canton system.'"

Resource suggested via H-Asia mailinglist (20 Dec 2006) by Roberta H. Martin, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA.


With kind regards,

Hanno E. Lecher


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