Gardens of a Chinese Emperor: Imperial Creations of the Qianlong Era, 1736-1796

Lehigh University Press
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The Garden of Perfect Brightness (Yuanming Yuan) in the western suburbs of the Quing capital, Beijing, was begun by the great Kangxi (r. 1661-1722) and expanded by his son, Yongzheng (r. 1722-1736) and brought to its greatest glory by his grandson, Qianlong (r. 1736-1796). A lover of literature and art, Qinglong sought an earthly reflection of his greatness in his Yuanming Yuan. For many years he designed and directed an elaborate program of garden arrangements. Representing two generations of painstaking research, this book follows the emperor as he ruled his empire from within his garden. In a landscape of lush plants, artificial mountains and lakes, and colorful buildings, he sought to represent his wealth and power to his diverse subjects and to the world at large. Having been looted and burned in the mid-nineteenth century by western forces, it now lies mostly in ruins, but it was the world’s most elaborate garden in the eighteenth century. The garden suggested a whole set of concepts—religious, philosophical, political, artistic, and popular—represented in landscape and architecture. Just as bonsai portrays a garden in miniature, the imperial Yuanming Yuan at the height of its splendor represented the Qing Empire in microcosm.

Includes 62 color plates and 35 black & white photographs.
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About the author

Victoria M. Siu (1935-2010), a member of the Religious of the Sacred Heart, U.S. province (RSCJ), held a Ph.D. from Georgetown University where her dissertation was on U.S.-Chinese relations.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Lehigh University Press
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Published on
Jun 12, 2013
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Pages
324
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ISBN
9781611461299
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Language
English
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Genres
Art / Asian / General
Gardening / Garden Design
History / Asia / China
History / Modern / 18th Century
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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