nl en

Art in the Song-Yuan-Ming Transition


Admission requirements

Prerequisite: preferably BA2 General Introduction to Art History of China.

Students that wish to write their BA Thesis in this course will have to receive permission from the programme. Applying for supervision can be done through this form.


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 artworks produced by and for the ruling class, this class examines 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.

Within the scope outlined above, the topics and time period covered in class may vary from year to year.

Course objectives

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

  • Become familiar with major artifacts in medieval and late imperial China;

  • Gain hands-on experience in museum setting, and learn to analyze them with appropriate vocabularies, approaches, and theories;

  • Understand arguments and debates relevant to major topics in Chinese art;

  • Identify primary and secondary sources related to their essay topics, and read the most important scholarship in Chinese language;

  • Write analytically and critically on topics in medieval and late imperial Chinese art and formulate clear and coherent arguments.


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction


Assessment method

Assessment and weighing

  • Class assignments (participation, reports): 50%

  • Research paper: 50%


Resits will be allowed only for the final essay (50% of the course). A re-sit for other course components is not possible.

Inspection and feedback

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

The course readings will be published on Brightspace.


Enrolment through MyStudyMap is mandatory.

General information about course and exam enrolment is available on the website

Note: course titel in MyStudymap and uSis is Art in the Song-Yuan-Ming Transition.


  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office Herta Mohr