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Art in the Song-Yuan-Ming Transition


Admission requirements

Prerequisite: preferably BA2: General Introduction to Art History of 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 consumer culture and diverse artistic ideals. Within this context, this course explores new concepts, practices, and art forms in paintings, calligraphy, prints, gardens, and quotient objects. Instead of only focusing on artistic practice of the ruling class, this class examinese the agency of various participants including scholars, local gentry, commoners, merchants, craftsmen, and women, in their innovative construction of aesthetic principles, discursive spaces, and artistic practices.

Course objectives

By the end of this course, students should be able to

  1. Become familiar with major artifacts in medieval and late imperial China;
  2. Gain hands-on experience in museum setting, and learn to analyze them with appropriate vocabularies, approaches, and theories;
  3. Understand arguments and debates relevant to major topics in Chinese art;
  4. Identify primary and secondary sources related to their essay topics, and read the most important scholarship in Chinese language;
  5. Write analytically and critically on topics in medieval and late imperial Chinese art and formulate clear and coherent arguments.


Visit MyTimetable.

Mode of instruction


Assessment method

Class assignments (participation, 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.

Reading list

See Brightspace


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available on the website.


Dr. Fan Lin


Students must self-enroll on Brightspace, which is used for posting syllabus, class communications, and essay submission.