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The Craft of Gardens

The Craft of Gardens

The Classic Chinese Text on Garden Design

Foreword by: Maggie Keswick / Photographs by: Zhong Ming / Translated by: Alison Hardie
Ji Cheng's great work on garden design, the Yuan Ye or Craft of Gardens, was originally published around 1631 and is the earliest manual of landscape gardening in the Chinese tradition. This is the first complete English translation of Ji Cheng's seminal work.

This delightful book provides not only insights into Chinese gardening but also a unique perspective on Chinese culture and society in the late Ming dynasty. Full notes by the translator explain obscure points and introduce relevant aspects of Chinese culture, while an introduction by Maggie Keswick sets the book firmly in its historical context. Illustrations include not only Ji Cheng's original diagrams but also historical paintings and contemporary photographs of a number of outstanding gardens in the part of East China where Ji Cheng lived and worked.
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  • Shanghai Press | 
  • 144 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781602200081 | 
  • April 2012
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Celebrating the pleasures of garden living enjoyed by the elite of late imperial China, this book brings together poetry, prose, paintings and prints from imperial China to show the many facets of life and leisure in the Chinese garden. From music to lanterns, from chess to drama, all kinds of cultural activities could be enjoyed in a garden setting, alone or with friends and family. Here, too, the garden owner and his (or sometimes her) companions could appreciate the changing seasons with all...
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