The “hundred beauties” (baimei 百美) genre, begun in the late Ming and established during the Qing, conventionally depicted one hundred “beautiful women” (meiren 美人), selected from Chinese history through woodblock print portraits, biographies, and poems. During the transitional era from the late Qing to the early Republic, the genre saw dramatic transformation in both form and content as contemporary, emergent “fashionable ladies” (shizhuang shinü 時裝仕女) became subjects. This article focuses on how the traditional lovelorn woman derived from the “boudoir plaint” (guiyuan 閨怨) continues to dominate the new-style hundred beauties albums under fashionable appearances. The author aims to shed light not only on the technical construction, through words and images, of gendered emotions but also on the perspective and historical milieu of the creators.

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