Lara C.W. Blanchard, the Henry Luce Assistant Professor of East Asian Art, is the author of an article in the most recent issue of the English-language journal “NAN NU: Men, Women and Gender in China.”
Her article, titled “A Scholar in the Company of Female Entertainers: Changing Notions of Integrity in Song to Ming Dynasty Painting,” argues that Ming dynasty paintings depicting scholars with female entertainers represent an important departure from earlier images of prominent intellectuals.
In earlier periods, the juxtaposition of female entertainers with male scholars was considered inappropriate for viewing, but by the sixteenth century, it suggested that the intellectual in question possessed the high-minded and carefree qualities of the court hermit.
Blanchard's article focuses on one painting in particular, “Su Dongpo Returning to the Hanlin Academy,” an early-16th century handscroll that portrays an event in the life of an 11th-century intellectual named Su Shi.
A member of the faculty since 2001, she holds a bachelor's from the College of William and Mary and her master's and Ph.D. in art history from the University of Michigan.
Blanchard's work was supported by a series of Faculty Research Grants from the Provost's Office; Anna Wager '09, an art history major, provided research assistance.