The author evaluates social and artistic identity of Wang Yuanqi (1642-1715), one of the most important and influential artists of the Qing Orthodox School of painting in China. Four main social roles played by the painter are anlysed in detail: that of a high ranking court official, a literati artist, a professional painter at court, and an arts theorist. Evidence of Wang's activity in each of the related fields is given and discussed, showing a complex nature of the painter's legacy. Wang's biggest achievement seems to be the ultimate transmission of Chinese literati culture onto Manchu court and a shift of imperial artistic tastes. Contrary to some common beliefs, his art was that of transformation and reinterpretation, rather than that of imitation and repetition.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.