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A Day on the Grand Canal with the Emperor of China or: Surface Is Illusion But So Is Depth (1988)

This famous Chinese scroll painting traces the Emperor Kangxi's second tour of his southern empire in 1689. Painted by Wang Hui (1632-1717) and assistants, it was executed before Western ... See full synopsis »

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This famous Chinese scroll painting traces the Emperor Kangxi's second tour of his southern empire in 1689. Painted by Wang Hui (1632-1717) and assistants, it was executed before Western perspective was introduced into Chinese art. Hockney contrasts the more fluid spatial depictions of this scroll with a later scroll painted by Xu Yang and assistants, The Qianlong Emperor's Southern Inspection Tour (1764-1770), scroll four. This scroll illustrates the same tour, but now taken by the Qianlong emperor, grandson of the Kangxi emperor. Influenced by Western perspective, the Qianlong scroll presents the emperor in a single tableau, whereas the Kangxi scroll depicts a continuous travel narrative filled with details of daily life in the towns and countryside along the route. Reference is also made to the use of perspective in Capriccio: Plaza San Marco Looking South and West (1763) by Italian painter Canaletto (1697-1768).

Director Philip Haas (Angels and Insects and Up at the Villa), and ...

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19 March 1988 (USA)  »

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