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Cultivated Landscapes: Reflections of Nature in Chinese Painting with Selections from the Collection of Marie-Hélène and Guy Weill

September 10, 2002–February 9, 2003

Images of Reclusion Under the Manchu Qing Dynasty

Images of reclusion remained a potent political symbol under the Manchu Qing dynasty (1644–1911), as Ming loyalists envisioned China's natural landscape as both a place of refuge and a symbol of endurance in the face of foreign occupation. Other artists, who were less involved in the politics of dynastic change, created landscape images based almost exclusively on the styles and compositional types established by an orthodox canon of earlier masters. For this group of traditionalist artists—later known collectively as the Orthodox School—the goal of painting was not mimesis, but the revitalization of painting through the creative transformation of past models.