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Imperial Illusions

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An important and highly original contribution to the field of Chinese art history. -- Robert E. Harrist Jr., Columbia University Ambitious, intelligently conceived and realized, and exceptionally well written. Rather than being isolated curiosities, in this exposition the illusions are seen as part of a long-term and spatially extensive interest that engaged the talents and energies of many for more than a century. Kleutghen combines recent scholarship, archival research, and close analysis of surviving monuments to offer an expansive account. -- Richard Vinograd, Stanford University

About the Author

Kristina Kleutghen is assistant professor of art history and archaeology at Washington University in St. Louis.


An invaluable addition to the ongoing conversation to globalize Chinese art history. . . . [Kleutghen's] most important contribution is to return the scenic illusion paintings to their original space and treat them as part of the architecture, and whenever possible to excavate their original placement and to recreate the spaces to which they once belonged, feats which have not always been successfully achieved by her predecessors. -- William Ma * China Review International: A Journal of Reviews of Scholarly Literature in Chinese Studies * [A] remarkably well-documented study. . . . Rich and stimulating. . . . There is no doubt that Imperial Illusions is an important contribution and provides a new perspective on visual culture at the Qianlong court. -- Michele Pirazzoli-t'Serstevens * Journal of Asian Studies * Kristina Kleutghen's carefully conceived new study. . . sits comfortably at the intersection of these two academic subfields, and provides specialists of both with an overdue, in-depth analysis of this remarkable moment of cross-cultural encounter. . . . The reader familiar with the historiography on the Qing will find a remarkably cohesive review of recent scholarship as it applies to the visual arts; to the nonspecialist, the volume provides an excellent entree to Qing visual culture and the Qianglong Empire (1711-1799, r. 1736-1795). . . . Imperial Illusions provides the ideal platform for rethinking eighteenth-century court art as distinctively Qing. -- Michele Matteini * CAA Reviews * This trans-disciplinary book is relevant not just to the history of art and of the high Qing, but also to the history of science and technology -- Carla Nappi * New Books in East Asian Studies *

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