Princely Gifts and Papal Treasures: The Franciscan Mission to China and Its Influence on the Art of the West, 1250-1350

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Desiderata Press, 1999 - Art, Chinese - 239 pages
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Lauren Arnold has gone to primary sources to gather a story that is broad, sweeping, and detailed in its reach from Medieval Europe to the China of one of the earliest Kahns. From this evidence she reconstructs how a gift from the Pope to the Kahn was misinterpreted by the members of the Khans court, and is celebrated in paintings and poems from that time. She also looks at how a gift from the Kahn, recorded in the 1304 inventory of the Papal Treasury, may have started the Renaissance in Europe by introducing the new ideas of perspective and depth into the paintings by Giotto when he did a decoration for the Pope in the main church in Assissi. 

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This great book makes two important points:
1. The young Khan prince used communications and tributes from the West (Europe) to cemment his position with his army, who were all christians, and
more importantly
2. The pictures and scrolls sent by the Khan to the Pope started the changes in art that led to perspective, landscapes, and three dimensional figures and paintings. This was the beginning of the Renaissance!
 

Contents

The Spring of 128
9
1288
31
The Establishment
43
12941304
55
13041338
83
In the far west lived the great Horses
97
Cone
155
Acknowledgme
161
Addenda
174
Ust of
215
Index
227
Colophon
240
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