The Eternal Feast: Banqueting in Chinese Art from the 10th to the 14th Century

Yale University Press

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Zoe S. Kwok
Yale University Press
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"This book is published on the occassion of the exhibition The Eternal Feast: Banqueting in Chinese Art from the 10th to 14th Century. Prince University Art Museum, Princeton, New Jersey October 19, 2019-February 16, 2020."--Title page verso. An overview of Chinese culture, particularly visions of life and the afterlife, told through feast imagery from three historically transformative dynasties Feasting was an important social and ritual activity in China beginning in the Bronze Age, and cuisine retains a strong cultural significance to this day. This book focuses on feasting in the 10th through 14th centuries, examining Chinese paintings of feasts from the Song (960-1279), Liao (907-1125), and Yuan (1279-1368) dynasties. Feast images, more so than works from any other painting genre, depict scenes from the past, the present, and the afterlife alike. More specifically, as author Zoe S. Kwok explains in the book's insightful text, they portray a continuum between life and what lies beyond it; this volume is the first to make such a connection. Full-color plates highlight a rare group of paintings as well as complementary ceramic, metal, stone, and textile objects, and the nearly fifty individual catalogue entries touch on diverse topics-not only food and drink but dance, music, costume, burial practices, artistic patronage, and more.