This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book examines the movements and shifting meanings attached to Yuanmingyuan artefacts. The Yuanmingyuan was one of the most important palace-garden complexes in imperial China. Known in the West as the "Summer Palace," the English term for the site is misleading, for this was not, in fact, a single edifice, but rather a grouping of classical gardens and waterways, with thousands of buildings, housing a vast art collection. The book discusses the origins, history, and development of the Yuanmingyuan in China, particularly in the eighteenth century, and its destruction in 1860 at the hands of British and French troops. It provides a summary of the movements of the substantial Diaspora of Yuanmingyuan material, from 1860, to distinct sites of representation and display in Britain and France. Yuanmingyuan treasures thus functioned as "material proof" of British power over China.
|Title of host publication
|Collecting and Displaying China's 'Summer Palace' in the West: The Yuanmingyuan in Britain and France
|Place of Publication
|New York, NY
|Taylor & Francis
|Number of pages
|E-pub ahead of print - 25 Oct 2017