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.

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