Western Influence on Chinese Painting

4 April 2015
Effects of European artistic style & content on Chinese landscapists in 18th Cent., role of paintings brought to China by Jesuits.

The traditional view of Western influences on Chinese painting has been that the first influences derived from Chinese artists’ observation of the work of European artists in China in the eighteenth century. These influences have not been regarded as being of much significance and, in fact, were usually just dismissed as the aberrations of a few painters who placed themselves outside the long Chinese tradition. James Cahill and others have proposed, however, that earlier influences of a more substantial kind are to be found in the work of landscape painters of the late Ming and early Ch’ing periods. An examination of Cahill’s claims shows how the European influence was integrated into the work of certain painters and eventually passed on to others who followed them. These influences do not include outright changes in subject matter or blatant alterations…

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