A Revolution in Painting in the Yuan Dynasty


This is a brilliant talk by Maxwell K. Hearn, who is one of the curators in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

It coincided with a special exhibition entitled The World of Kubilai Khan: Chinese Art in the Yuan Dynasty which was held in 2010.

In the spread of the Yuan Dynasty the Southern Song in China was the last great country to fall, and the Chinese were held in distain by their Mongolian overlords.

They turned to art and calligraphy to express their feelings, but had to do so in a covert way for fear of offending their new masters.

In the talk Hearn unfolds multiple layers of meaning, hidden behind superficially innocent looking paintings of horses, landscapes and pine trees.

Hearn is also author of a book: ‘How to read Chinese Paintings’, and in this talk he succeeds in showing how that can be done, if you have to right information in the first place.


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