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There is an emphasis on Catholic culture, using examples of the Jesuits, who adapted to the local culture in China and Japan, while others in the Philippines and elsewhere remained aloof from the local traditions. Pictorial evidence of statues and carvings is shown to demonstrate both the skills and the styles of Indian craftsmen, and the overlap between the best European sculptures of the holy family, and the Indian statues of the Buddha. The Islamic non-pictorial adornment of furniture is also mentioned, as evidence of a different area of overlap. Images of Christian figures such as Jesuit missionary Francis Xavier are shown alongside exotic figures such as peacocks and elephants (Jaffer and Jackson 109) as evidence of the “hybrid” hypothesis.
A very interesting and convincing case is made for the combined influence of art and religion in forging early international collaboration in trade and industry, or indeed in the case of Japan, becoming the focus of persecution. Christian missionaries became a “conduit for European art and science” (Jaffer and Jackson 122) which went far beyond the original religious ideological content. This is a point that readers may have been vaguely aware of but this text spells out how extremely important these connections were for art in both East and West and what the wider implications were for both sides of the ...Show more
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It looks particularly at the way Christian genres and styles were received, adapted and reformulated in the very different context of China, Japan, India and other…
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