This exhibition will consider the underexplored question of how painters learned their craft in premodern China. Some painters learned at home, from fathers, mothers, or other relatives among whom painting was a shared language of familial communication. Others learned from friends who shared their passion. Still others turned to painting manuals, treatises that expanded knowledge of painting to anyone who could buy a woodblock-printed book.
Paintings from The Met collection, along with a choice selection of important works from local private collectors, will illuminate these and other pathways to becoming a painter in premodern China. The exhibition will be presented in two rotations.
Image: Detail from Wang Yuanqi (Chinese, 1642–1715), Streams and Mountains without End (detail), Qing dynasty (1644–1911), undated / courtesy of The Met