Exhibition/Display Details

Collecting the Past: Scholars’ Taste in Chinese Art

21 Mar 2017 to 22 Oct 2017

This display features a range of Chinese paintings created by scholar-artists since the 18th century.

These art works represent the tradition of collecting the past, aesthetic taste and the values of the Chinese literati who governed China for more than ten centuries. Explore the objects with which the scholars surrounded themselves in their studies, such as brush pots, ink stones, water droppers and scholar’s rocks.

Image: Fu Baoshi (1904–1965), The scholar artist in his studio after Meicun Wu, Sullivan Bequest, © Fu Baoshi estate


Lecture: Chinese writing: origins, nature, and history
With Dr Paola Demattè, Professor of Chinese Art and Archaeology, Rhode Island School of Design, USA

Starting from the calligraphy inscription of Wu Yunzheng on a fan on view in the current exhibition Collecting the Past: Scholars’ taste in Chinese Art, this introductory lecture will touch upon the nature of Chinese writing, its origins in the Neolithic and Bronze Age, and its impact on Chinese historical identity. In particular, we will look at the different types of characters according to traditional Chinese etymology, examine Neolithic potmarks and pictographs, and look at Bronze age inscriptions on mantic bones and ritual implements.

Thursday 27 April 2017, 2 pm, Ashmolean Museum Lecture Theatre
Free, Booking recommended.

Follow this link to book your place or email

Gallery 11 | Admission Free