In Search of Wang Wei

In Search of Wang Wei

Presenter:Richard Barnhart, Professor Emeritus in the History of Art, Yale University
Date:April 6,  2017
Time:7 – 8:30 pm
Location:Pendleton Room, Michigan Union

“The Art Historical Art of Song China Workshop” will kick off with Professor Richard Barnhart’s lecture at the Michigan Union Pendleton Room. This international workshop is hosted by the Department of the History of Art in cooperation with the University of Michigan Museum of Art and the University of Michigan Confucius Institute. Click on the link here to see the full workshop schedule:

Wang Wei (701-761), one of China’s greatest poets, left a legacy of ineffable poetry that is still read and admired around the world. He is also remembered as a great painter despite the fact that not a single painting by him is known to have survived and the reasons for his stature have not been identified. Seeking to recover what remains of Wang’s lost art, and to separate it from the debased replicas of his Wangchuan compositions said to have been copied by Guo Zhongshu (and many others), and the archaic snowy landscape handscrolls supposedly copied by Yan Wengui and Xu Daoning, we find it inextricably imbedded in the very origins and identity of Song landscape painting itself. The painter Wang Wei who emerges from this examination was the peer of Dong Yuan and Fan Kuan, and as important as Li Cheng and Guan Tong in establishing the character of Song landscape painting.

About the speaker:

Richard M. Barnhart studied art history at Princeton University with Wen Fong and Shujiro Shimada, and at Harvard University with Max Loehr. He spent most of his career teaching at Yale University and writing books and articles on Chinese art history. Since his retirement in 2000 he has lived with his wife Catherine on San Juan Island, off the northwest coast, and continues a lifelong dedication to the study of Song painting.

*Image: “Waterfall,” ink on silk, 64.5 x 103.2 cm. Kyoto, Chishaku-in