Lecture by Patricia Berger: A Crisis of Faith: Chen Hongshou’s Buddhist Paintings

UC Berkeley Professor Emerita of Chinese Art History Patricia Berger characterizes Chen Hongshou as a “leftover” subject, a self-described “belated monk” whose life spanned the fall of the Ming dynasty and the rise of the Manchu Qing. In this lecture, she explores the artist’s enigmatic Buddhist paintings, which offer a glimpse into a cataclysmic moment in Chinese history, one where shared religious practices offered only a dubious stability for Ming loyalists. Robert Sharf, professor of Buddhist studies in UC Berkeley’s Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, joins Berger following her lecture for an expanded consideration of Buddhist content in Chen’s art.