Gardens of a Chinese emperor imperial creations of the Qianlong Era, 1736-1796 /

Saved in:
Main Author: Siu, Victoria M. Cha-Tsu.
Format: Book Electronic
Published:Bethlehem : Lehigh University Press, [2013]
Online Access: Available only to UIC users
Tags: Add Tag
No Tags, Be the first to tag this record!
Main Author:Siu, Victoria M. Cha-Tsu.

The Garden of Perfect Brightness (Yuanming Yuan) in the western suburbs of the Qing capital, Beijing, was begun by the great Kangxi (r. 1661-1722) and expanded by his son, Yongzheng (r. 1722-1735) and brought to its greatest glory by his grandson, Qianlong (r. 1736-1796). A lover of literature and art, Qinglong sought an earthly reflection of his greatness in his Yuanming Yuan. For many years he designed and directed an elaborate program of garden arrangements. Representing two generations of painstaking research, this book follows the emperor as he ruled his empire from within his garden. In a landscape of lush plants, artificial mountains and lakes, and colorful buildings, he sought to represent his wealth and power to his diverse subjects and to the world at large. Having been looted and burned in the mid-nineteenth century by western forces, it now lies mostly in ruins, but it was the world's most elaborate garden in the eighteenth century. The garden suggested a whole set of concepts--religious, philosophical, political, artistic, and popular--represented in landscape and architecture. Just as bonsai portrays a garden in miniature, the imperial Yuanming Yuan at the height of its splendor represented the Qing Empire in microcosm. Includes 62 color plates and 35 black & white photographs.

Descriptive content provided by Syndetics™, a Bowker service.

Physical Description:1 online resource (xxxii, 267 pages) : illustrations (some color), maps (some color)
Bibliography:Includes bibliographical references (pages 251-259) and index.
Author Notes:

Victoria M. Siu (1935-2010), a member of the Religious of the Sacred Heart, U.S. province (RSCJ), held a PhD from Georgetown University where her dissertation was on U.S.-Chinese relations. When she inherited her father's research on Qianlong's gardens she taught herself horticultural history and architecture with the help of a NEH summer grant and a year-long grant at Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, DC, perfected her classical Chinese, French, and Italian, and consulted and visited garden scholars in China, Japan, Europe, and the United States. She also taught part-time at the University of San Francisco.

Descriptive content provided by Syndetics™, a Bowker service.