此次特展，遴選明末清初具代表性的女性畫家，如馬守真（1548－1604）、邢慈靜（1573－1640 後）、趙文俶（1595－1634）、黃媛介（1614 或 1620－1669前）、李因（1610－1685）、顧媚（1619-1663 或1664）、李柁那（約活動於明朝晚期）與林雪（約活動於十七世紀）等人，展出她們的山水、人物、花卉、草蟲等畫作。無論工筆寫意或水墨設色、筆墨或構圖，莫不體現出女性走向公眾視線的卓然風姿。
Elegant Images of the Brush: Women's Painting in the Late Ming and Early Qing Period
The latter half of the sixteenth century marked the beginning of a breakdown in the political institution of the Ming dynasty court. The followers of Wang Yangming's (1472-1529) School of the Mind also challenged some of the orthodox views in Neo-Confucian teachings from the Song dynasty, leading towards more liberal ways of thinking. At the same time, the rise of capitalism and a flourishing market economy transformed the overall fabric of traditional society. One of the results was that the originally restricted lifestyle of women started to undergo change. Along with the spread of education and a burgeoning print industry, all of these became factors that created fertile ground for cultivating women of talent and refinement.
Later in the Qing dynasty, Tang Shuyu (1795-1855) in The Jade Terrace History of Painting compiled a record of women painters over the ages, finding most of them to be active in art circles of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Whether ladies of the upper classes or courtesans of renown, these women emerged in the tumultuous period that embraced China in the late Ming and early Qing dynasty. Although these women painters often came from opposite sides of the social spectrum, with the help of teachers in girls' schools and with male scholars as intermediaries, they were able to form a unique network of social exchange, often reciprocating in art and engaging in social activities. The interaction and deepening of the artistic language between them yielded exceptional works much praised in art circles at the time.
This special exhibition represents a selection of representative women painters from the late Ming and early Qing period. Spanning the sixteenth to seventeenth centuries, they include Ma Shouzhen (1548-1604), Xing Cijing (1573-after 1640), Zhao-Wen Chu (1595-1634), Huang Yuanjie (1614/20-before 1669), Li Yin (1610-1685), Gu Mei (1619-1663/64), Li Tuona (fl. ca. late Ming), and Lin Xue (fl. ca. 17th c.). These paintings of landscapes, figures, flowers, and plants, whether in the "fine-line" or "sketching-ideas" traditions, in ink and colors or monochrome ink, or with varying compositional formats, all bring the extraordinary talent and grace of late Ming and early Qing women artists into public view once again.