The Grandeur of the Qing | Asia for Educators

IV. Books

Qing Dynasty Overview

Paludan, Ann. Chronicle of the Chinese Emperors. London and New York: Thames and Hudson Ltd., 1998 and 2001. With maps and 368 illustrations, many in color, this book is an excellent reference for students of all ages.

Rowe, William T. China’s Last Empire: The Great Qing (History of Imperial China). Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2009.

Smith, Richard J. The Qing Dynasty and Traditional Chinese Culture, Lanham and London: Roman and Littlefield Publishers, 2015.

Smith, Richard J. China's Cultural Heritage: The Qing Dynasty, 1644-1912. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 1994.

Literature and Art

Barnhart, Richard M., Wen C. Fong, and Maxwell K. Hearn. Mandate of Heaven, Emperors and Artists in China: Chinese Painting and Calligraphy from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Zürich: Museum Reitberg, 1996.

Chou, Ju-hsi and Claudia Brown. The Elegant Brush: Chinese Painting Under the Qianlong Emperor, 1735-1795. Phoenix: The Phoenix Art Museum, 1985.

A Day on the Grand Canal with the Emperor of China, or Surface is Illusion but so is Depth. Produced and directed by Philip Haas; written and presented by David Hockney. Program for Art on Film, J. Paul Getty Trust and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1988.

Hearn, Maxwell K., ed., with Wen C. Fong, Chin-Sung Chang, and Maxwell K. Hearn (2008) Landscapes Clear and Radiant: The Art of Wang Hui (1632-1771). New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2008.

Hearn, Maxwell K. How to Read Chinese Paintings. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2008.

Hearn, Maxwell K. "Document and Portrait: The Southern Inspection Tour Paintings of Kangxi and Qianlong." in Chinese Painting under the Qianlong Emperor: The Symposium Papers in Two Volumes, ed. Ju-hsi Chou and Claudia Brown. Phoebus 6, Number 1 (1988), Arizona State University. pp. 91-189.

Hightower, James R. The Poetry of T'ao Ch'ien. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1970.

Mote, Frederick W. "A Millennium of Chinese Urban History: Form, Time, and Space Concepts in Soochow." in Four Views of China, ed. Robert A. Kapp, Rice University Studies 59, no. 4, Fall 1973. For a discussion of how the literary associations of a site outlive its physical remains.

Murck, Alfreda, and Wen C. Fong, eds., Words and Images: Chinese Poetry, Calligraphy, and Painting. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1991.

Wang, Yao-t'ing. Looking at Chinese Painting: A Comprehensive Guide to the Philosophy, Technique and History of Chinese Painting. Translated by the Stone Studio. Tokyo: Nigensha, 1996.

Yang Xin, Richard M. Barnhart, Nie Chongzheng, James Cahill, Lang Shaojun, and Wu Hung. Three Thousand Years of Chinese Painting. New Haven and Beijing: Yale University Press and Foreign Languages Press, 1997.

State and Economy

Clark, Champ. Flood (Planet Earth Series). Alexandria, Virginia: Time-Life Books, 1982. For a full discussion and illustrations of dike construction techniques in Qing dynasty China.

Elliott, Mark C. The Manchu Way: The Eight Banners and Ethnic Identity in Late Imperial China. Stanford: Standford University Press, 2001.

Spence, Jonathan D. Emperor of China: Self-Portrait of K'ang-hsi. New York: Knopf, 1974.

Spence, Jonathan D. The Search for Modern China. W. W. Norton & Company, 2001 (reprint). See section on Kangxi's Valedictory Edict of 1717.

Spence, Jonathan D. Ts'ao Yin and the K'ang-hsi Emperor, Bondservant and Master. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1966.

Zelin, Madeleine: The Merchants of Zigong: Industrial Entrepreneurship in Early Modern China (Studies of the Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University), New York: Columbia University Press, 2006.

Related Exhibits

These two exhibits have closed, but the catalogues published in conjunction with each exhibit remain available...offering full color reproductions of objects and essays on related topics.

Splendors of China's Forbidden City: The Glorious Reign of Emperor Qianlong
The Field Museum, Chicago | The companion website of the 2004 exhibit, Splendors of China's Forbidden City: The Glorious Reign of Emperor Qianlong, which brought nearly 400 artifacts from the Palace Museum in Beijing to the United States to tell the story of the remarkable Qianlong emperor.

China: The Three Emperors, 1662-1795
Royal Academy of Art, London | This companion website to the 2005-06 exhibit at the Royal Academy on the Kangxi, Yongzheng, and Qianlong emperors features extensive background text on the legacy of the three emperors and China during Qing times, specifically on the following topics: the Qing court; ritual and religion; the literati; conquest and empire; Christianity and the Jesuits; the auspicious universe, and more.