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Accumulating Culture


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A beautifully illustrated examination of a monumental collection of Chinese calligraphy, paintings, bronzes, and many other objects amassed by the Song dynasty emperor Huizong (1082-1135).

Table of Contents

List of IllustrationsList of TablesPrefaceA Note on Dates, Measurements, and Other ConventionsChronologyIntroduction1. Early Song Precedents2. Strains in Emperor-Literati Relations during the Reform Era3. Collecting As a Scholarly Passion during the Northern Song Period4. Huizong As a Collector5. Managing the Collections at the Palace Library6. Collecting and Cataloguing Antiquities7. Collecting and Cataloguing Calligraphy8. Collecting and Cataloguing Paintings9. The Fate of Huizong's CollectionsReflectionsAppendix 1: Authorship and Editions of the CataloguesAppendix 2: Paintings and Calligraphies with Huizong's Collector SealsAppendix 3: Major Extant Pre-Song Calligraphies Listed in the Xuanhe Calligraphy CatalogueNotesBibliographyGlossary-Index

About the Author

Patricia Buckley Ebrey is professor of history at the University of Washington and author of The Cambridge Illustrated History of China and The Inner Quarters: Marriage and the Lives of Chinese Women in the Sung Period.


"If Leonardo or Rubens had unexpectedly (and impossibly!) become king, perhaps we would have a match for Huizong, but there is really no one like him in history. Ebrey brilliantly illuminates the complexities of the political and military situations of which his life was the center, and her recreation of Huizong's collections is a huge achievement." Richard M. Barnhart, Yale University "Traditional historiography has never succeeded in assessing the cultural enterprises of Huizong independent of their final cost in political terms, which Ebrey manages to accomplish with considerable skill. Placing the reign in the context of its time, she explores the contemporary political value of Huizong's cultural enterprises as well as their impact on later practices of art collecting and criticism." Richard L. Davis, Lingnan University, Hong Kong

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