Landscape and the stakes of style: picturing the Qing in the Kangxi court

Stephen Whiteman

This talk explores the place of landscape in Qing court artistic production in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. A period in which the the court sought to both consolidate and define Qing territory, the second half of the Kangxi emperor’s reign was also a time of significant artistic experimentation, as court painters combined a wide range of stylistic and technical inputs into an emergent Qing court style. Focusing particularly on depictions of Bishu shanzhuang, or the Mountain Estate to Escape the Heat, the talk investigates the origins of this manner, which is more often associated with the later Qianlong court, through a discussion of the ideological and rhetorical stakes of style and genre in representations of imperial landscapes under Kangxi.

About the Speaker

Stephen Whiteman is a Lecturer in Asian Art History at The University of Sydney. Prior to coming to Sydney, he held research fellowships at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts and Dumbarton Oaks, both in Washington, DC, and taught the history of Asian art, architecture and gardens at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Colorado, and Middlebury College. His current projects include a study of landscape in the Kangxi court, and an edited volume on rhetorics of space in early modern imperial ideology.

After the Seminar

To allow for informal discussion, the seminar will be followed by a dinner with the guest speaker at 6:15pm. The location of the restaurant will be announced at the seminar. All are welcome, though those who attend will need to pay for their own food and drinks. As reservations must be made at the restaurant, please RSVP by noon of the day before the seminar to

The ANU China Seminar Series is supported by the China Institute, the Research School of Asia and the Pacific, and the Australian Centre on China in the World at The Australian National University.


Stephen Whiteman

Dates & times

Thursday, 4 June 2015

4.00pm - 5.30pm


Seminar Rooms, China in the World Building (188), Fellows Lane, ANU

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