Friday, March 14, 2014

The Face of Christ in China

"The Holy Name has been revealed.
His authority conferred;

throughout the world in this human realm
the sound of the teaching supreme!"

--"Singing of the Source and Course of Holy Church" by Wu Li 吳歷 (1632-1718), Chinese painter, poet, and Jesuit

In my research for a paper on the Chinese Rites Controversy, I have come in contact with the Chinese Christian art of the time.  This post is merely a collection of images from the time (16th and 17th centuries) that depict the eternal Truth of Christ in the style of the Middle Kingdom.
From Edición y traducción china de las Evangelicae historiae imagines de Jerónimo Nadal (Chinese Edition and Translation of the Images of the History of the Gospel of Jerónimo Nadal) (1639) by Giulio Aleni, S.J. (1582-1649), based on the work of Jerónimo Nadal, S.J. (1507-1580)
From Tienzhu jiang-sheng chuxiang jingjie 天主降生引義 (Incarnation of the Lord of Heaven through Illustrations and Commentary) (1637) by Giulio Aleni, S.J.

From Tienzhu jiang-sheng chuxiang jingjie by Giulio Aleni, S.J.

From a collection of illustrations of the life of Christ presented by Adam Schall, S.J. (1592-1666) to the Chongzhen Emperor (1611-1644, r. 1627-1644) in 1640; reproduced in the anti-Christian work Budeyi 不得已 (I Cannot Do Otherwise) (1664) by Yang Guangxian 楊光先 (1597-1669)

Christ and St. Peter from Chengshi moyuan 程氏墨苑 (The Ink Garden of Mr. Cheng) (1605) by Cheng Dayue 程大約 (1541-1616)

The Road to Emmaus from Chengshi moyuan by Cheng Dayue

 The Men of Sodom from Chengshi moyuan by Cheng Dayue

From Chengshi moyuan by Cheng Dayue

Holy Martyrs of China, pray for us!

Nota Bene: The opening quote is from Jonathan Chaves' "Wu Li (1632-1718) and the First Chinese Christian Poetry," published in the Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 122, No. 3 (Jul.-Sep. 2002), p. 514.  The last image from Aleni and the image from Schall's collection are taken from D.E. Mungello's The Great Encounter of China and the West, 1500-1800 (published by Rowan & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.: Lanham, MD, 1999).  The images from Cheng Dayue's Chengshi moyuan are taken from Jonathan D. Spence's The Memory Palace of Matteo Ricci (published by Penguin Books: New York, NY, 1985).  To see more images, the entire Tienzhu jiang-sheng chuxiang jingjie of Giulio Aleni can be viewed online, with illustrations beginning here, where the first image in this post can be located.

No comments:

Post a Comment