The Imperial Patronage of Labor Genre Paintings in Eighteenth-Century China
by Roslyn Lee Hammers
[Forthcoming] Routledge, 2021.
This book examines the agrarian labor genre paintings based on the Pictures of Tilling and Weaving that were commissioned by successive Chinese emperors.
This book analyzes the genre’s imagery and poems in their historical context, and explains how the paintings contributed to distinctively cosmopolitan Qing imagery that also drew upon European visual styles. Roslyn Lee Hammers argues that the technologically-informed imagery were not merely didactic imagery to teach viewers how to grow rice or produce silk. The Qing emperors invested in paintings of labor to substantiate the permanence of the dynasty and to promote the wellbeing of the people under Manchu governance. The book includes English translations of the poems of the Pictures of Tilling and Weaving as well as other documents that have not been brought together in translation.