VIDEO: The Last Gift from Beijing: the Jesuit Gardens and the Sino-European Botanical Exchanges, by Lianming Wang
In this 4A_Lab talk, Lianming Wang contextualizes the Beijing Jesuit gardens in the framework of global dynamics of horticultural and hydraulic practice as places of fruitful transcultural encounter and scientific knowledge production. The event took place on July 12, 2021 as part of the 4A_Lab online seminar series.
Jesuit gardens arguably constitute a transcultural phenomenon of early modernity: with their forms and aesthetics, they materialized the transregional transfer of European elite knowledge and culture in the early modern world. This talk discusses the role of Beijing Jesuit gardens in early-modern global dynamics connected to botanical and horticultural practices. Drawing on a monumental Chinese painting (now at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France) displaying a wide variety of plants, the author examines the function of the gardens as walk-in spaces for transcultural experience, as well as experimental platforms for artistic and botanical entanglements between European religious knowledge production and Qing court art. It is also argued that these garden sites bear important witness to the collecting practices of European Jesuit patrons in the early modern period.
The talk “The Last Gift from Beijing: the Jesuit Gardens and the Sino-European Botanical Exchanges” took place on July 12, 2021 within the framework of the 4A_Lab online seminar series.