During the second half of the 19th century, a growing number of Chinese travellers sailed westwards to reach Europe. Most of them made a stop in Italy and visited a few major cities, with their galleries and museums. Which paintings did they have the chance to see in Italy? Did they appreciate the subjects, colours, techniques and perspective of paintings that they were so unfamiliar with? What emotions did such view stir in the observers? Based on the textual analysis of the excerpts on painting taken from nine travel diaries written from 1859 to 1898, this paper tries to answer these questions by investigating the inner reactions of these early Chinese travellers in front of artistic representations that were very far from their cultural tradition. It thus casts light on their difficulty to appreciate aesthetic values that looked very unfamiliar, their attempts to find an explanation for such a great diversity and their reappraisal of their own tradition in light of these new stimuli.

Chinese views on Italian paintings in some travel diaries of the late Qing period (1859–1898) / Casalin, Federica. - In: INTERNATIONAL COMMUNICATION OF CHINESE CULTURE. - ISSN 2197-4241. - ELETTRONICO. - 3:1(2016), pp. 145-160. [10.1007/s40636-016-0050-5]

Chinese views on Italian paintings in some travel diaries of the late Qing period (1859–1898)

CASALIN, FEDERICA
2016

Abstract

During the second half of the 19th century, a growing number of Chinese travellers sailed westwards to reach Europe. Most of them made a stop in Italy and visited a few major cities, with their galleries and museums. Which paintings did they have the chance to see in Italy? Did they appreciate the subjects, colours, techniques and perspective of paintings that they were so unfamiliar with? What emotions did such view stir in the observers? Based on the textual analysis of the excerpts on painting taken from nine travel diaries written from 1859 to 1898, this paper tries to answer these questions by investigating the inner reactions of these early Chinese travellers in front of artistic representations that were very far from their cultural tradition. It thus casts light on their difficulty to appreciate aesthetic values that looked very unfamiliar, their attempts to find an explanation for such a great diversity and their reappraisal of their own tradition in light of these new stimuli.
Chinese travellers; Late Qing; Italy; painting
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Chinese views on Italian paintings in some travel diaries of the late Qing period (1859–1898) / Casalin, Federica. - In: INTERNATIONAL COMMUNICATION OF CHINESE CULTURE. - ISSN 2197-4241. - ELETTRONICO. - 3:1(2016), pp. 145-160. [10.1007/s40636-016-0050-5]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/985845
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