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date: 21 January 2020

Huizong, Emperor [Hui-tsung]locked

  • Mary S. Lawton

Extract

[Hui-tsung]

(b Tianshui, Gansu Province, 1082; reg 1101–26; d Wuguocheng, Yilan, Heilongjiang Province, 1135). Chinese ruler and painter. The last emperor of the Northern Song period (960–1127), he was the 11th son of the emperor Shenzong (reg 1068–85). Huizong is considered to be the only accomplished artist in a line of emperors who all shared an interest in the arts. The fall of the Northern Song dynasty is usually attributed to Huizong’s neglect of his official duties in favour of religious and cultural pursuits. This preoccupation is described in miscellaneous notes of Deng Chun (fl 1127–67) in the Hua ji (‘Painting continued’; 1167) and by Tang Hou (fl 1322) in the Gujin huajian (‘Mirror of past and present painting’; 1320s), as well as in later chronicles such as the Tuhui baojian (‘Precious mirror for examining painting’; preface dated 1365) by Xia Wenyan....

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