Stephen J. Goldberg, associate professor of art history, recently delivered two invited lectures in Honolulu. The first, “Landscapes of Reclusion: The Art of the Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368),” was presented on Nov. 14 at Hawai’i Pacific University. Goldberg examined the theme of reclusion and use of landscape painting as the “subtle art of dissent” by the wenren, or scholar-gentlemen, in response to the Mongol conquest of China. The discussion focused on Twin Pines and Level Distance, a painting by the scholar-painter and calligrapher Zhao Mengfu (1254-1322).
On Nov. 15 Goldberg presented “The Intimate Universe: Landscape Paintings of the Northern and Southern Song Dynasties” to the Society of Asian Art of Hawai’i. The lecture included a comparative study of landscape painting as imago mundi (“world image”) in China and the West, as well as a close reading and interpretation of landscape paintings at the court of the Northern and Southern Song. Two interpretations, one cosmological and one political, were offered, with each reinforcing the other given the changing historical circumstances in which the paintings were produced.