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Paintings Done for Women in Ming-Qing China?

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image of NAN NÜ

An eight-leaf album of scenes of women in domestic settings, painted by a seventeenth-century Suzhou artist, opens the question of whether we can identify a body of Ming-Qing paintings arguably addressed to an audience and clientele of women. These would include hanging-scroll representations of women meant for hanging in their rooms, and handscroll depictions of stories and subjects of special interest to them, combining narrative paintings with texts, for private looking and reading. These are quite separate from the more prestigious name-artist works valued within the male world of collecting and connoisseurship; the question of "genuineness" may be irrelevant to them.


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