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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : History of Art

Postgraduate Course: Chinese Painting and Calligraphy: The Elite World of China (HIAR11055)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis is a course on Chinese painting and calligraphy from the imperial age (8th century) to the early twentieth-century. Students will conduct research on visual material and on related arguments. Focusing on both object and the textual source for Chinese art theories, this course will introduce the painter's practice and the ideology behind the classical work.

This course aims to introduce students the method of reading classical Chinese, ways of appreciating objects, interpretation of documents and esthetical trends, location of sources, and other fundamental tools necessary for conducting a further research in Chinese art. Museum visits and handling sessions will be organised. No previous knowledge of Chinese language and culture is required.
Course description The course will introduce the visual examples in chronological order, from the ideology of the three perfections: painting, calligraphy and poetry, system of writing, connoisseurship, the Antiquarian Studies, to modern Chinese painting debates. Course participant would study in depth the selected groups of calligraphers and painters from the early Imperial China (8th century) to the Republican Era (20th century). In addition to stylistic analysis on painting and calligraphy, the discussion will include ancient aesthetics and theories, script styles, and the art of seal carving.

1.Sinology or Art History? (Chinese script and pictorial systems).
2.Didactic Teaching and Politics in Painting (Early figure painting).
3.Connoisseurship and Authenticity (Tang and Five Dynasties painting).
4.Chan Buddhism and Ink Play (Five Dynasty to Northern Song painting).
5. Monumentality and Landscape Painting (Northern Song painting).
6.Three Perfections (Southern Song).
7.Elite Writing and Lost Identity (Yuan).
8.Mountains into Gardens (Ming painting).
9.Orthodox School to the Eccentrics (Qing painting).
10.Nationalism and New Urban Painting (19th century painting).
11.From Social Realism to Lyrical Abstract (20th century painting).
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Compare and evaluate different approaches to understanding art traditions in China.
  2. Assess critically the materials and themes explored in the course through the use of particular examples from China.
  3. Gain knowledge and understanding of the range of skills used in art history and to have developed independent study and research and presentation skills.
  4. Provide a basis for further study at a PG research level for advanced students.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Chia-Ling Yang
Tel: (0131 6)51 1370
Course secretaryMiss Siobhan Byron
Tel: (0131 6)51 5744
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