Lecture 19 Febr: Kublai Khan's Legacy- Inner Asian Influence on Chinese Art
ILIAS International Institute for Asian Studies- Leiden
Kublai Khan's legacy: Inner Asian Influence on Chinese art
Lecture by Professor Morris Rossabi (Columbia University / The City University of New York), organized by the Asia Pavilion of the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam and IIAS, in cooperation with the Vereniging van Vrienden der Aziatische Kunst.
This slide-illustrated presentation challenges the conventional wisdom that portrays the thirteenth-century Mongolians as merely destroyers, killers, rapists, and plunderers. Although the lecture does not minimize the massacres and destruction wrought by the Mongolians, it also reveals their contributions to the arts and culture in China. Khubilai Khan, in particular, supported several of the most prominent Chinese painters, recruited Muslim weavers to add new motifs in Chinese textiles, appointed Mongolians to supervise the spectacular porcelain industry, and commissioned Tibetan and Nepalese painters and artisans to produce portraits of the Imperial family and to construct remarkable buildings in Dadu (or Beijing). Marco Polo, whose book introduced Khubilai to the West, was himself dazzled by the extraordinary art and culture he encountered in Mongol-ruled China.
To be sure, the Mongolians were not the artists and craftsmen, but they acted as sponsors, patrons, and consumers of the arts, thereby performing an invaluable service. Women, especially Khubilai’s wife and great granddaughter, were avid supporters of Chinese art.
The programme14.30 - 15.00 Reception with coffee & tea in the foyer at the Auditorium
15.00 - 15.10 Welcome & Introduction
15.10 - 16.00 Lecture by Professor Morris Rossabi (Columbia University, NY, USA)
16.00 - 16.30 Q&A
Morris Rossabi is a historian of China and Inner Asia who conducted his initial research on traditional Chinese foreign relations and on the peoples along China's borders. He wrote a biography of Khubilai Khan, which has been translated in many languages, including Korean and Russian, and helped to organize exhibitions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the Cleveland Museum of Art, and the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco. He was commissioned to write three chapters for the Cambridge History of China. After serving as a Consultant for the Soros Foundation, he wrote the book Modern Mongolia. The author of numerous articles and speeches, he travels repeatedly to Central Asia and Mongolia, where he teaches courses on Mongolian and East Asian history.
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