Scholars' Rocks in Ancient China: The Suyuan Stone Catalogue. Kemin Hu.

Scholars' Rocks in Ancient China: The Suyuan Stone Catalogue

Weatherhill, Inc. 8.5 x 11", 163 pp., 80 color and 30 b/w illustrations, notes, bibliography, index, cloth, d.j., New York, 2002. (o.p.; near fine). Item #26344
ISBN: 0834805030

Interest in scholars stones (gongshi), collected by Chinese literati and artists since the Tang dynasty, has expanded greatly in the West over the last five years, with over a dozen major exhibits mounted in museums around the world. Yet there exists only a handful of titles in English on the subject, and important texts such as the Suyuan Stone Catalogue, one of China's earliest and most comprehensive illustrated books on the subject, have never been translated.

With its illuminating commentary and well-rendered wood-block illustrations, the Suyuan catalogue is an invaluable reference book for the study of ancient Chinese scholar's rocks. From the 101 entries of various stones and stone types listed in the catalogue, the author has chosen to focus on twenty of the historically most important, then provided translated text, original illustrations, and commentary for each. These stones are used as a springboard for an extended discussion of the connoisseurship and collection of scholars' stones, thoroughly illustrated with photos, paintings, and related materials, and especially, photographs of the finest stones from modern collections.

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