Relatively little now remains attesting to the Kangxi emperor’s conception for Bishu
As this year draws to a close, I am completing work on a coauthored translation and study of Thirty-Six Imperial Poems, to be published by Dumbarton Oaks in 2014. The volume will present translations of both the Chinese and the Manchu texts—the largest trilingual publication of its kind ever undertaken and a critical contribution to scholarship on the multilingual Qing empire—together with several other early accounts of the Mountain Estate. Alongside these will be reproductions of both the original woodcut views and those of a subsequent copperplate edition produced for the court under the direction of the Italian missionary Matteo Ripa (1682 – 1746). Ripa’s copperplates are the earliest known use of European printing technology in China, as well as the first images of Chinese gardens to reach Europe. As such, they represent important monuments in the intellectual, cultural, and technological exchanges of the eighteenth century on opposite ends of the Eurasian continent.
Previous scholarship concerning Bishu
The shadow cast over Qing imperial history by the Qianlong emperor extends beyond Bishu
Having spent much of this year writing about representations of the Mountain Estate, during the second year of my fellowship I will turn to the physical landscape itself. With support from CASVA, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Society of Architectural Historians, I will spend the summer geotagging and photographing Bishu