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Picturing Technology in ChinaFrom Earliest Times to the Nineteenth Century$
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Peter J. Golas

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9789888208159

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888208159.001.0001

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Late Ming and The Exploitation of the Works of Nature

Late Ming and The Exploitation of the Works of Nature

(p.97) Five Late Ming and The Exploitation of the Works of Nature1
Picturing Technology in China

Peter J. Golas

Hong Kong University Press

The Song and Yuan dynasties witnessed not only unprecedented achievements in technological illustration but also a major reorientation of much of Chinese life and culture, the subject we turn to in Chapter 4. Many of these developments are reflected in altered thinking about just what the aims of painting should be. By the end of the eleventh century, a new scholar-official elite now dominated the political and cultural scene in China. To a degree unique among ruling elites anywhere, many of them took up painting as one expression of their cultural superiority. In so doing, they frequently subscribed to a view that rejected the importance of realistic representation in favor of painting that supposedly enabled highly cultivated artists of superior character to give expression to their moral and intellectual pre-eminence.

Keywords:   China, Scientific illustrations, Drawing techniques, Technical development, Literati, Science, Wood block printing, Agriculture, Industry

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