Review: Hui Zou, A Jesuit Garden in Beijing and Early Modern Chinese culture, West Lafayette, Indiana: Purdue University Press
East Asian Science, Technology, and Medicine
Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen
in Beijing built a small Western garden, commonly known as Xiyang Lou 西洋樓 (European style houses) in Yuanming Yuan 圓明園, one of the largest gardens of the Qing emperors. Previous scholars such as Alexander Schultz (1966) and Michèle Pirazzoli-t’Serstevens (1987) have shown linkages between this Western garden and Baroque examples in Europe—fountains, labyrinths and multi-storeyed buildings. Zou’s account, how-ever, is the first to discuss this garden in a transcultural context using the diverse methods of philosophy, phenomenology, philology and cultural studies. Tying the Western garden firmly to the theme of Yuanming (Round Brightness), Zou reveals this Western garden, designed jointly by the Jesuits and the Qianlong emperor, to be an illustration of their various ways of seeking the enlightening of both vision and the mind. The Western garden, Zou argues, demonstrates a dialogue between the Chinese classic concept of jing 景 (scene) and European ‘views’ constructed by using a linear perspective.
, Vol. 39, pp. 144 - 147