This classic work, first published in 1971, explores the transition in painting styles from the late Sung period to the art of Yuan dynasty literati. Building on the pioneering work of Oswald Siren and James Cahill, Susan Bush's investigations of painting done under the Chin dynasty confirmed the dominance of scholar-artists in the rth and their gradual development of scholarly painting traditions, and a related study of Northern Sung writings showed that their theory was shaped as much by the views of their social class as by their artistic aims. Bush's perspective on Sung scholars' art and theory helps explain the emergence of literati painting as the main artistic tradition in Yuan times. Social history thus served to supplement an understanding of the evolution of artistic styles.
Susan Bush is a research associate at the Fairbank Center for East Asian Research, Harvard University.