Woven Paintings in the Qing Dynasty with Dr. Florian Knothe
This lecture focuses on the visual relationship between woven panels and discusses cross-cultural influences in the weaving of tapestries in East and West. Whereas China has a rich tradition of producing colourful embroidered textiles, the weaving of tapestry, or kesi, was comparatively rare. During the Qing dynasty, European tapestries – then one of the most treasured of all art forms – became known in China through a diplomatic gift received by Qianlong in 1767. From then on, this ‘exotic’ set of textiles, together with a group of European Jesuit painters in the Imperial City, seems to have had an influence over Chinese kesi production and the introduction of linear perspective in painted as well as woven paintings.
A scholar of Western European art, Dr. Knothe is the Director of the University Museum and Art Gallery (UMAG). He received his PhD with a thesis on the royal manufacture and production of art and propaganda in 17th century France. From 2005-2008, he worked as research fellow and associate in European Sculpture and Decorative Arts at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. During his appointment in 2009 as curator of European glass at The Corning Museum of Glass, he devoted time to research his long-established interests in cross-cultural influences in art and workshop practices in Western Europe and East Asia. This work culminated in his East Meets West exhibition in 2010, and related lectures and conference papers that were presented in the US, Europe, Asia and Africa. In his role as Director, Dr. Knothe aims to connect UMAG internationally so that future collection-oriented research and programming reflect the university’s unique geographic and cultural position between East and West.