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date: 17 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses Jesuit strategies in mission art and architecture in the early modern world through two eighteenth-century case studies, one in China and the other in Brazil. The first is an episode in the Jesuit artistic campaign at the Qing court in Beijing when Jesuit artists worked closely with court artists and the Chinese emperor Qianlong to create the Xiyanglou (European-style buildings) at the imperial gardens at Yuanming Yuan. The second is the Jesuits’ introduction of Chinese style decor into church interiors in colonial Brazil as a symbol of Christian victory over paganism. These two episodes will also complicate our idea of Jesuit exceptionalism since non-Christians, Franciscans, and other orders were involved in these activities, sometimes as much as the Jesuits.

Keywords: Jesuits, Jesuit art and architecture, eighteenth century, Brazil, China, gardens, Qing Dynasty, Xiyanglou, Yuanming Yuan

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