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Art in the Song-Yuan-Ming Transition


Admission requirements

Prerequisite: preferably BA1: Literatuur & Kunst van China or BA2: General Introduction to Art in China


Profound changes took place in Chinese culture and society spanning the Song (960-1279) through the Ming (1368-1644). Accompanying the rise of the scholar-official class and local elites were an emerging vibrant consumer culture and the diversified artistic ideals. Within this context, this course explores new concepts, practices, and art forms in paintings, calligraphy, prints, gardens, and quotient objects. Instead of emphasizing the “high art” of the ruling class, it focuses especially on the agency of various participants, including scholar-officials, women, merchants, and local elites, in their innovative construction of aesthetic principles, discursive spaces, and artistic practices.

Class sessions include nine in-class seminars led by Dr. Fan Lin and five museum viewing trips led by Dr. Ching-Ling Wang.

Course objectives

By the end of this course, students should be able to:
1. know how to handle art objects from museum collections;
2. analyze artworks with appropriate vocabularies and approaches;
3. understand the major concepts and arguments relevant to the study of Chinese art;
4. identify basic primary and secondary sources related with major topics in Chinese art;
5. write analytically and critically on aspects of medieval and late imperial Chinese art, and formulate clear and coherent arguments.


See Timetable Chinastudies

Mode of instruction


Course Load

5 EC * 28 hours = 140 hours

Weekly seminars: 9 × 2 hours (18 hours)
Museum Viewing: 5 x 2 hours (10 hours)
Assignments and readings: 12 × 5 hours (60 hours total)
Research paper: 52 hours

Assessment method

Class assignments (participation, quiz, reports): 50%
Research paper: 50%

Exam review

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.


Blackboard is used in the course.
Students must self-enroll on Blackboard, which is used for posting syllabus, class communications, and essay submission.

Reading list

See blackboard


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch


Dr. Fan Lin