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Featured Topic: The Mongol Empire

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The Legacy of Genghis Khan
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
An introduction to the legacy of Genghis Khan (ca. 1162–1227) and the Mongol Empire, which was "the largest empire ever to exist, spanning the entire Asian continent from the Pacific Ocean to modern-day Hungary in Europe." Related essays on the Mongol empire include: A New Visual Language Transmitted Across Asia; The Mongolian Tent; Takht-i Sulayman and Tile Work; Courtly Art; The Religious Arts; The Art of the Book; Folios from the Jami' al-tavarikh; and Folios from the Great Mongol Shahnama.

Go to Museum Resource: http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/khan1/hd_khan1.htm
Yuan, 1280-1365
Minneapolis Institute of Arts
"Mongol invader Genghis Khan and his hordes conquered much of Asia, including China; his grandson Kublai Khan established this dynasty, during which the Mongols reopened and expanded overland trade routes linking China, Central Asia, and the Mediterranean." A brief, one-paragraph overview, along with three maps (of the Mongol Empire, the Silk Road, and the Yuan Dynasty), a video clip featuring an MIA curator, and 20 objects representative of the period.

Go to Museum Resource: http://archive.artsmia.org/art-of-asia/history/dynasty-yuan.cfm
Yuan Dynasty (1279–1368)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
A brief overview of artistic production during Yuan dynasty China. With 12 related artworks.

Go to Museum Resource: http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/yuan/hd_yuan.htm
Painting (during the Song and Yuan dynasties)
University of Washington, Visual Sourcebook of Chinese Civilization
"This unit covers not only developments in painting as a fine art, such as the development of landscape painting, but also looks at paintings for evidence of social life, both the commercial life of cities and private life at home." A Visual Sourcebook of Chinese Civilization was prepared by University of Washington history professor Patricia Buckley Ebrey. With questions for discussion, timelines, maps, and suggested readings. Select HOME to find link to teachers' guides for all topics featured on the website.

Go to Museum Resource: http://depts.washington.edu/chinaciv/painting/4ptgintr.htm
Takezaki Suenaga's Scrolls of the Mongol Invasions of Japan
Bowdoin College
This excellent interactive website is now hosted on Princeton University.

Go to Museum Resource: http://digital.princeton.edu/annotatedscrolls/
Scrolls of the Mongol Invasions Annotated
Princeton University Art Museum
This site allows you to view individual scenes depicting the Mongol Invasions of Japan. Takezaki Suenaga, a warrior who fought against the Mongols in both 1274 and 1281, commissioned scrolls recounting his actions. This unique record of the invasions, and important eyewitness account, was heavily damaged in the ensuing centuries – according to lore they were even once dropped into the ocean! By the time of their rediscovery in the eighteenth century, the scenes and text of the scrolls were scattered into separate sheets. See also the partner site: Mongol Invasions of Japan - 1274 and 1281.

Go to Museum Resource: http://digital.princeton.edu/annotatedscrolls/
The World of Khubilai Khan: Chinese Art in the Yuan Dynasty
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
“This exhibition covers the period from 1215, the year of Khubilai's birth, to 1368, the year of the fall of the Yuan dynasty in China founded by Khubilai Khan, and features every art form, including paintings, sculpture, gold and silver, textiles, ceramics, lacquer, and other decorative arts, religious and secular. The exhibition highlights new art forms and styles generated in China as a result of the unification of China under the Yuan dynasty and the massive influx of craftsmen from all over the vast Mongol Empire—with reverberations in Italian art of the fourteenth century.” Includes the video “The World of Khubilai Khan: A Revolution in Painting,” with Maxwell K. Hearn. See also exhibition publication.

Go to Museum Resource: https://www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions/listings/2010/khubilai-khan
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