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Cost: $8 (VMFA members $5)

How to Read Chinese Paintings

with Maxwell K Hearn, Douglas Dillon Chairman Department of Asian Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Thu, Dec 4, 6:30 – 7:30 pm

Leslie Cheek Theater

The Chinese way of appreciating a painting is often expressed by the words du hua, “to read a painting.” How does one do that? Because art is a visual language, words alone cannot adequately convey its expressive dimension. Spanning a thousand years of Chinese art from the eighth through the seventeenth century, the lecture will examine multiple layers of meaning—style, technique, symbolism, past traditions, and the artist’s personal circumstances—in the treatment of landscapes, flowers, birds, figures, religious subjects, and calligraphies in order to illuminate the main goal of every Chinese artist: to capture not only the outer appearance of a subject but also its inner essence.