Image as Word: A Study of Rebus Play in Song Painting (960-1279)

  title={Image as Word: A Study of Rebus Play in Song Painting (960-1279)},
  author={Qianshen Bai},
  journal={Metropolitan Museum Journal},
  pages={57 - 72}
  • Qianshen Bai
  • Published 1 January 1999
  • Art
  • Metropolitan Museum Journal
LTHOUGH THE REBUS, the representation of a word or syllable by a picture of an object with a similar name, exists in other cultures, rebus play is fairly common in Chinese painting and enjoys a long tradition.' This popularity means that many paintings have a rebus aspect. Art historians have long been aware of this phenomenon in Chinese art, and, in recent years, some scholarly attention has been devoted to it.2 Nevertheless, many questions remain. Among them: What are the origins of rebus… 

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