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Echoes of the Past: Qing Dynasty Chinese Painting: New Exhibition

Berkeley Art Museum will exhibit Qing dynasty paintings from Jan 5 til June 26, 2011.

January 5, 2011 9:00am to June 25, 2011 7:00pm

During the last half of the seventeenth century, a group of artists known as the Four Wangs came to dominate the Chinese painting scene. These artists looked back to the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, drawing inspiration from ink masterpieces of the Song and Yuan dynasties, yet transforming and reinterpreting the past. Over the past two years, BAM/PFA’s collection of works by Ming and Qing dynasty artists working in traditional formats, including the Four Wangs, has been enriched through purchase and gifts of key works. Echoes of the Past: Qing Dynasty Chinese Painting presents a selection of these new acquisitions, which exemplify the great tradition of Chinese ink painting.

Among the most celebrated artists of the seventeenth century, Wang Hui (1632–1717) is credited with establishing the stylistic foundations of Qing dynasty painting, which was firmly rooted in ancient traditions stretching back to the eleventh-century Northern Song period.

The youngest member of the group, Wang Yuanqi (1642–1715), painted at such a high level as to be commissioned by the Emperor. Following in the footsteps of his famous grandfather, Wang Shimin (1592–1680), he emphasized his debt to the Yuan period in BAM/PFA’s newly acquired 1702 landscape painting by referencing in his inscription and his brushwork the fourteenth-century painter Huang Gongwang (1269–1334).

Works by Wang Hui and Wang Yuanqi are joined by those of Wang Shimin and Wang Jian, making up a full complement of Four Wangs.

Julia M. White
Senior Curator for Asian Art

Purchase tickets at front desk, January 5 – June 26, 2011 every Sunday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday |

$10 Adults (18-64), $7 Non-UC Berkeley students, senior citizens (65 & over), disabled persons, and young adults (13-17) and after 5 p.m. selected Fridays, free BAM/PFA members, UC Berkeley students, faculty, and staff, and children (12 & under)