A beautifully designed album of the finest paintings from collections across China.
This oversized volume presents 105 important paintings in chronological order, from the Eastern Jin dynasty (AD 317–420) to the end of the nineteenth century. These masterworks range from brightly colored and crisply delineated Buddhist frescoes to the muted yet evocative ink-wash landscapes of the literati painters. Each spread is devoted to a single painting: on the verso the work is reproduced in full, with a narrative caption that describes its style, iconography, and historical context; and on the recto there appears a gorgeously printed full-page detail that allows the reader to appreciate the true qualities of the work. A general historical introduction skillfully traces the development of the three major genres of Chinese painting—figurative, landscape, and bird-and-flower—through each successive dynasty.
The reader’s enjoyment of the artistic treasures gathered within these pages will be heightened by the refined luxury of the book’s design. Printed on a premium paper whose subtle texture recalls the feel of silk, it is crafted in the traditional Chinese manner, with folded leaves and a hand-sewn thread binding. Its soft covers are protected by an elegant wraparound case stamped in gold. A worthy monument to a great cultural tradition, Masterpieces of Classical Chinese Painting will appeal to lovers of both fine editions and fine art.
Zheng Xinmiao is director of the Palace Museum in Beijing. Zhang Hongxing is a senior curator and researcher at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Shao Jingjing is a curator at the National Museum of China. Guo Guang is general manager of CYPI Press. Zhang Bo is a historian of Ming and Qing dynasty art. Jiang Peng is an expert in scroll paintings of the Song through Qing dynasties. Li Lin, director of the Department of Art History at Luxun Academy of Fine Arts, specializes in the earlier history of Chinese painting.