Chinese painting

As a part of the requirements for ARS 475, each student is required to write a short paper (4‑5 pages, double‑spaced, plus notes and bibliography) on one of the following topics. A topic of your own choosing may be proposed but must be approved by the instructor. Papers must be typed and fully documented with complete (and standard) notes and bibliography. Be sure to make use of the books on reserve at Hayden Library. Topics and preliminary bibliographies can be submitted any time but must be turned in at least by February 18.  All papers must be thoroughly documented with footnotes and bibliography (following the Chicago Manual of Style); any use of words from an outside source must be appropriately designated with quotation marks.  Papers without proper footnotes or endnotes will not be accepted.


Suggested topics:


  Examine in detail one of the twelve masterpieces of Chinese painting listed for this course.  Consider the style and the subject matter and its meaning as well as how the work relates to the artist’s biography.


  Choose a Korean or a Japanese painting and compare it with a work of Chinese painting that you feel could have been a precursor.  Compare and contrast the two works.  What does the non-Chinese work take from Chinese tradition?


  Choose a painting by a contemporary Chinese artist and compare it with a work of traditional Chinese painting that you feel could have been an inspiration for that artist.  Compare and contrast the two works.  How does the contemporary work maintain ties with tradition?


  Choose a Buddhist cave at Dunhuang and detail its program of paintings.  Consider the discovery of the cave and the literature of scholarship on it.


  Consider the handscroll Peace Reigns over the River (also called Spring Festival on the River, Going Up-river at the Qingming Festival, Qingming shanghe tu).  Argue for or against its status as a masterpiece of Chinese painting.


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