The Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive’s current exhibit Beauty Revealed: Images of Women in Qing Dynasty Chinese Painting showcases meiren hua (beautiful women) paintings. The paintings, made in the High Qing period of the mid-seventeenth to late-eighteenth century, were thought to depict high-status women. The exhibition studies the visual codes in the paintings and asserts that the women belonged to the courtesan class, opening up new possibilities for the interpretation of these works.
Curated by Senior Curator for Asian Art, Julia White, Beauty Revealed brings together paintings from BAM/PFA’s collection as well as loans from private collections and institutions from the United States and abroad. Marquand Books produced the exhibition catalogue, designed by John Hubbard and distributed by D.A.P. The 144-page book features sixty full-color illustrations. It includes essays by James Cahill, Chen Fongfong, Nancy Berliner, and Sarah Handler.
Photography by Jeremy Linden