"Co-branding" a Cainü and a Garden : How the Zhao Family Established Identities for Wen Shu (1595-1634) and Their Garden Residence Hanshan

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

3 Scopus Citations
View graph of relations


Related Research Unit(s)


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-83
Journal / PublicationNAN NU
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016


This paper examines two paintings by Wen Shu (1595-1634), each of which was inscribed by her husband who declared that Wen Shu painted what she saw in their garden residence Hanshan. With this claim, the family reinforced the image of "Wen Shu the artist" as a cloistered gentry woman and an amateur painter despite the fact that she painted for financial reasons. At the same time, this claim exalted the existing image of Hanshan. By establishing images for Wen Shu and Hanshan, the family worked together to reaffirm and enhance their social standing. This research contributes to the understanding of how a woman painter and her family utilized, participated in, and derived benefits from the prevalent garden culture of seventeenth-century China.

Research Area(s)

  • Chinese women painters, Hanshan Garden, seventeenth-century garden culture, Wen Shu (1595-1634)