DE-NIN LEE is assistant professor of art history in the Department of Visual and Media Arts at Emerson College in Boston. Her publications include The Night Banquet: A Chinese Scroll through Time (University of Washington Press, 2010); “Colophons, Reception, and Chinese Painting,” Word & Image 28, no. 1 (2012); and “Clear Weather in Boston's Chinatown: Chinese Landscape in the Anthropocene,” Verge 2, no. 1 (2016). She is currently writing a book on the intersection of Chinese landscape painting and environmental concerns. [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Whereas texts on painting by Chinese literati have had a profound impact on art history, women's writings are almost unknown. This article examines poems by the Qing-dynasty poet-painter Luo Qilan (b. 1755), using her as a case study to argue for a literatae tradition in painting. Luo's tihuashi (poems on paintings) and related poems bear witness to vigorous participation in the culture of Chinese painting. Her poems evidence learning from male teachers and female exemplars, adaptation of masculine conventions, and adroit use of poetic and painterly skills to cultivate supporters who disseminated her reputation beyond the Inner Chambers.