Shitao (1642–1707) and the Traditional Chinese Conception of Ruins

Wu Hung

in Proceedings of the British Academy Volume 167, 2009 Lectures

Published by British Academy

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9780197264775
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734984 | DOI:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

Shitao (1642–1707) and the Traditional Chinese Conception of Ruins

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This chapter presents the text of a lecture on Shitao and the traditional Chinese conception of ruins given at the British Academy's 2009 Aspects of Art Lecture. This text investigates the conception of ruins in traditional Chinese pictorial art focusing on the work of Chinese master Shitao. It traces the indigenous definitions of ruins as well as a broad variety of images related to the idea of ruination. It analyzes Shitao's Yellow Mountain paintings, and links his depictions of architectural ruins with the idea of qi or the strange or extraordinary phenomena.

Keywords: Shitao; ruins; Chinese pictorial art; ruination; Yellow Mountain painting; qi

Chapter.  6912 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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