Stephen Whiteman on Landscape, Space, and Global Connections at the Kangxi Emperor’s Estate at Rehe


Click on the images below to open the gallery and view them full-size. Thank you to Dr. Stephen Whiteman for providing the images.


Welcome to the sixteenth episode of the Global History Podcast.

Today we’d like to welcome Dr. Stephen Whiteman, Senior Lecturer in Art and Architecture of China and Head of the Research Degrees Programme at the Courtauld Institute of Art. In his own words, Dr. Whiteman’s “research and teaching focuses on the visual and spatial cultures of early modern China in their global contexts. His current work looks at connected histories of landscape and space in the Qing Dynasty as expressed through gardens, visual culture, and cultural memory.” 

He is the author of Where Dragon Veins Meet: The Kangxi Emperor and His Estate at Rehe (Washington University Press, 2020) and Thirty-Six Views: The Kangxi Emperor’s Mountain Estate in Poetry and Prints (Dumbarton Oaks/Harvard University Press, 2016), with Richard E. Strassberg.

In July of 2020, Jeffery and I spoke with Dr. Whiteman over skype about his new book, Where Dragon Veins Meet, discussing topics including landscape and space in the Qing estate at Rehe and its global connections. Listen on to find out more.

If you have any thoughts, questions, or comments about this episode, or would like to pitch us an idea for a new episode, feel free to email us at theglobalhistorypodcast@gmail.com, or send us a message on our website’s contact formfacebooktwitter, or instagram. If you would like to consult further resources on global history, feel free to visit our Further Resources page.

IMAGE 1: Anonymous, Kangxi Reading, ca. 1699–1704. Hanging scroll, ink and colors on silk, 137 x 106 cm. The Palace Museum, Gu6411.

IMAGE 2: Shen Yu, et al., “A Lingzhi Path on an Embankment to the Clouds,” Imperial Poems on the Mountain Estate to Escape the Heat,Scene 2, 1713. Woodblock print. Chinese Collection, Harvard-Yenching Library, © President and Fellows of Harvard College.

IMAGE 3: Waterway connecting Lower and Mirror Lakes, Bishu shanzhuang, Chengde, Hebei province. Photograph by Stephen H. Whiteman.

IMAGE 4: “Map of a Complete Survey of Imperial Territories.” Originally prepared as 41 individual sheets, this illustration visualizes the atlas digitally knitted together. Courtesy of QingMaps.org.

IMAGE 5 and COVER IMAGE: Leng Mei, View of Rehe, 1709? Hanging scroll, ink and color on silk, 254.8 x 172.5 cm. The Palace Museum, Gu8210.

IMAGE 6: Wang Hui, et al., Kangxi’s Southern Inspection Tour, Scroll Seven: Wuxi to Suzhou, 1698. Detail of a handscroll, ink and color silk, 67.7 x 2220 cm. Mactaggart Art Collection, University of Alberta Museums, Gift of Sandy and Cécile Mactaggart, 2004.19.75.1.

IMAGE 7: Anonymous, Fuling, 18th c. Hanging scroll, ink and color on silk. Collection of the First Historical Archives of China, Yu1809.

IMAGE 8: Attr. Matteo Ripa, “Morning Mist by the Western Ridge,” Imperial Poems on the Mountain Estate to Escape the Heat, Scene 11, 1713. Copperplate engraving. Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Washington, D.C.

IMAGE 9: Wang Yuanqi, et al., Magnificent Record of Longevity, j. 42, f. 59, 1717. Woodblock print. Chinese Collection, Harvard-Yenching Library, © President and Fellows of Harvard College.

IMAGE 10: Stages of development at the Mountain Estate to Escape the Heat under the Kangxi and Qianlong emperors. Map: Daniel P. Huffman, based on the Bishu shanzhuang Historical GIS.

IMAGE 11: Visualization of possible water routes during the Kangxi period. Map: Daniel P. Huffman, based on the Bishu shanzhuang Historical GIS.

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