China and Inner Asia

Organized Panel Session

4 - Xia Yong: Rethinking Yuan Architectural Painting in Relation to the Southern Song Legacy

Friday, March 23
10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Location: Washington Room 1, Exhibit Level

The Yuan painter Xia Yong (active mid-14th c.), often characterized as the one who paints architecture, has been largely neglected by traditional art critics and modern scholars. There are almost no surviving biographies of him and none of his paintings has been recorded in major painting catalogues. This is even true in studies of Yuan architectural painting. Those studies concentrate on the prestigious court painter Wang Zhenpeng (ca. 1280-ca. 1329), and only treat Xia as a minor follower of Wang. Some of Xia’s paintings were even formerly ascribed to Wang. Admittedly, Xia’s works are representative samples of dominant Yuan architectural painting, which stress technique and minimize the natural setting, just like those by Wang Zhenpeng. However, Xia’s paintings, with small-scale formats and a large proportion of one-corner compositions, also inherit the well-established jiehua traditions of the Southern Song Academy. As a professional painter, Xia Yong replicated his works, but meanwhile, his preference for depicting Song buildings also shaped him as a Song loyalist in the literati circle. This paper develops a fuller understanding of Xia Yong’s life and oeuvre, and reconsiders the relationship between Xia Yong’s paintings and Wang’s. This paper also helps us better understand the heretofore ignored aspects of Yuan architectural painting, particularly its relation to Song jiehua tradition.

Leqi Yu

University of Pennsylvania, California

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4 - Xia Yong: Rethinking Yuan Architectural Painting in Relation to the Southern Song Legacy



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