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Words for images and images for words: an iconological and scriptural study of the Christian prints in the Chengshi moyuan 程氏墨苑
AuthorLopes, Rui Oliveira
Pub. LocationLondonPublisherTaylor & Francis
Date2017Phys. Desc.Dig.pdf. pp. 87-107 [22 p.] : ill. (some color)
LocationDigital ArchivesCall NumberND2068.A1 L67 2017
Words for images and images for words: an iconological and scriptural study of the Christian prints in the Chengshi moyuan 程氏墨苑 / Rui Oliveira Lopes.
Extract from: Word & Image, 33:1, 87-107, DOI: 10.1080/02666286.2016.1263137
See Word & Image to access article.
See note in record for Chengshi moyuan 程氏墨苑.

Local access dig.pdf. [Lopes-Chengshi moyan.pdf]

Abstract: The early seventeenth century is noted for the fruitful cultural, religious, and artistic exchange between Europe and the Chinese imperial court. The missionaries of the Society of Jesus (Societas Iesu) became a prominent bridge connecting the two distinct cultures, where the main differences were, at the same time, the reason for their mutual allure. At that time, Jesuit priests, such as Matteo Ricci (1552–1610), João da Rocha (1587–1639), and Giulio Aleni (1582–1649), contributed significantly not only to the dissemination of Christianity in Beijing, Nanjing, and other important cities beyond the Portuguese administration of Macau, but also to the transmission of Western knowledge and technology. Along with the flow of goods and rare commodities brought from Europe which overwhelmed the Chinese emperors of the late Ming and High Qing courts, Western art was introduced into China as a synthesis of visual science, artistic sophistication, and eloquence, explaining why it became so valuable, particularly during the time of the three Qing emperors, Kangxi (1654– 1722), Yongzheng (1678–1735), and Qianlong (1711–99). The modus operandi in the apostolic ministry of the Society of Jesus around the world is well known for the use of images as a visual explanation of Christian doctrine, particularly in China, India, and Japan. The Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola (Exercitia Spiritualia), composed between 1522 and 1524, suggests that the images should be referred to as a reflection on the word, demonstrating the complementary function between text and images in the explanation of Christian teachings. This article discusses the agency of one of the earliest sets of European prints used in the context of the Jesuit mission in China as a visual explanation of biblical teachings. By means of iconographic examination and iconological approach, it examines how Christian prints included in the Chengshi moyuan 程氏墨苑 (The Ink Garden of Mr. Cheng) were used as a visual reasoning of the scriptures, demonstrating that the three biblical prints were linked to each other and purposely put together as a result of a doctrinal program.

Keywords: European prints in China, artistic exchange, Jesuits in China, Matteo Ricci, Chengshi moyuan, Ming dynasty, spiritual exercises

Subject(s)Cheng Dayue 程大約, 1541-ca. 1616. Chengshi moyuan 程氏墨苑
Inksticks--China--History--Ming-Qing dynasties, 1368-1911
Ink painting, Chinese--Ming-Qing dynasties, 1368-1911
Christian art and symbolism--China--History--Ming dynasty, 1368-1644--Specimens
Art, Jesuit--China
Art--China--European influences
Bible stories, Chinese
Bible. N. T.--Transmission--Chinese
Ricci, Matteo 利瑪竇, 1552-1610--Influence
SeriesWord & Image : a journal of verbal/visual enquiry
Rec. TypeExtract (PDF)LanguageEnglish
CollectionRicci Institute LibraryRec. #19069