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McCausland, Shane (2022) 'The Art History and Material Culture of the Yuan Empire.' In: May, Timothy and Hope, Michael, (eds.), The Mongol World. London: Routledge, pp. 534-559. (Routledge Worlds)

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Understanding Yuan art and culture is a function of our contested present. Post-Yuan, late-imperial claims to Chinese cultural exceptionalism still pertain and are woven into the party-state’s sometimes rancorous claims to power and legitimacy. Yuan art’s troubled posterity in East Asian history saw the Mongols dubbed by the first modern art historians writing in English as philistines and a ‘world scourge’. Yuan’s status as jewel in the Mongol imperial crown has been seen to justify a Sinocentric approach to Yuan art or to validate Chinese cultural exceptionalism. Sumptuous possessions, spaces and lifestyles were governed by a sumptuary order imposed by the Mongol regime on Yuan society and its material culture, keyed to racial, social and official hierarchies. The Yuan was a high point of descriptive representation of flora and fauna in the arts, from painting to jade carving.

Item Type: Book Chapters
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > School of Arts > Department of the History of Art & Archaeology
ISBN: 9781138056671
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 22 Feb 2018 11:56

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