Theatricalizing Death and Society in The Skeletons' Illusory Performance by Li Song

Hong, Jeehee
March 2011
Art Bulletin;Mar2011, Vol. 93 Issue 1, p60
Academic Journal
The article discusses the painting "The Skeletons' Illusory Performance," by the Chinese imperial academy painter Li Song (fl. 1190-1230), which is a way of exploring the importance of puppet theory during this period in Chinese cultural history. The painting is discussed by the article in terms of its historical place in Chinese art and how its original audience would have viewed it as well as what it would have evoked in them. The career of Li Song as a court painter to several emperors is considered. Other topics include the symbolic aspects of the figures in the painting, memento mori, and the identity of the skeleton puppet master figure in the painting.


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