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그리스도교 미술의 동아시아 유입과 전개
- 그리스도교 미술의 동아시아 유입과 전개
- Other Titles
- Introduction & Expansion of Christian Art into East Asia: 17~18th century Jesuits
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- 대학원 미술사학과
- 이화여자대학교 대학원
- This thesis focuses on the spread of christianity and its art from Europe to East Asia during 17-18th century. In addition, it studies the characteristics of European Christian art, how East Asian countries adopted it, and how the art works melted into the Asian culture.
Christianity was first introduced to East Asia around the 17th century when exchange of goods began to take place among the countries. The Roman Catholics were struggling for the revival of churches due to the Enlightment and were struggling going on at that time. Therefore, when the Catholics opened up their eyes on new routes, East Asia, they were able to receive full support from the Roman Orthodox Church to engage in missionary works. This turned out to be a great success and the number of Christians began to increase persistently.
As time went by, missionaries realized the need to decorate the churches, have religious paintings for services, and have doctrines and bibles to give out to the natives. According to annual reports written by missionaries, these religious books or paintings were all made Europe and sent to Asia via shipping. There were many types of paintings, such as oil and watercolor paintings, and copperplate engraving prints, which were mainly used for Sunday services and to educate the natives. All of these were used to trigger the interests of the natives for western Christian art so that they can complete their mission, converting more and more natives to Christianity. Since the art works had to be shipped from Europe all the way to East Asia, a large part of them were duplicates rather than the original work or art itself.
When missionaries requested for more and more paintings from and realized that it takes too much time and money to bring them from Europe, they began to make religious paintings on their own. However, due to continues persecutions and suppressions of Christianity, not much oil or watercolor survives up to this day unfortunately. Most of these were sent or carried out of the Asian countries by missionaries when they were banished from them.
At the and of the 16＾(th) century, educating organizations, such as Seminario and Colegio were already built in Japan and China whose missions were to educate and raise native ministers. At these places, theology students would learn how to create replicas and engrave copperplates, where they would be inspired by the original paintings, it has great significances in that they were the very first westernized art classes.
All replicas created by missionaries differ from European made originals in methods of production and techniques, but they do not differ much in quality. The reason is that the replicas followed the 'exact' footsteps as the originals. In addition, the missionaries adapted forms of Chinese illustrations to make their religious paintings more appealing to the natives. The main themes still stick strictly to the European originals, but there are cases where several scenes would be incorporated into one drawing or the scenes would be 're-evaluated' in order to maximize the understanding of the bible for the natives.
When western printers were first introduced to Japan in 1592 in Nagasaki, engraved copperplate religious paintings appeared in doctrines, prayer books, religious books, or the history of Jesus as portraits and illustrations. In addition to educating the theology students, Seminario and Colegio served also as printing organizations for Christian publications and periodicals; they acted as the central and vital places for spreading Christianity and the European culture in East Asia. During this time in Europe, sacred portraits and prayers of famous saints were already produced in small booklets in large quantities at a time with the development of copperplate printers. With this innovation, the pilgrims and Christians were able to deepen their faith by carrying the books around and reading them all the time. Similarly, since religious illustrations were printed and easily distributed to large crowds, they were considered most apt as medium for spreading words of God. Due to these reasons, missionaries in Japan made 'exact' copies of the European publications and religious paintings and used them widely.
During the end of the Ming Dynasty, woodblock prints were extremely popular especially in literature for the commoners. A great variety of woodblock prints ranged from pictorials to book containing classical paintings, where the printing technique reached its peak during this era. Consequently, the situation of printing Christian materials differed from Japan; missionaries in China replicated and printed out materials in woodblock prints whereas missionaries in Japan preferred to use copperplates. In order to minimize any cultural differences between the western world and China, some subjects would be deleted or replaced with Chinese subjects so the natives could understand the messages the paintings sent out. However, there are some traces of unnaturalness in the copies due to the lack of understanding of European copperplates prints and differences from woodblock print techniques.
Unlike the cases of Japan and China, Christianity and the art were first introduced to Korea not from missionaries, but from 'yeonhaengsa(燕行使)' who were sent China during the Ming and Qing Dynasties. It is presumed that these 'yeonhaengsa(燕行使)' who traveled to Beijing three to four times a year, had chances to read western books translated into classical Chinese Characters that contained Christian beliefs and the art and introduced them to Koreans. However, the spread of Christianity must not have been active due to geographical reasons, national isolation from foreign countries, and inability to accept new beliefs. In addition, surviving publications or art works in this case are almost nin-existent.
Christian art works were created and produced solely for spreading Christianity to East Asian countries, and they were extremely influential and efficient in converting the natives into Christians. Religious paintings or portraits, visual art forms, were either sent from Europe or replicated into classical Chinese characters also played a big role in inviting in the Chinese, Japanese, and Koreans, who all used Chinese characters at the time, into the world of Christians. Thus, the history of exchanges between the western world and East Asia is a critical issue that must never be overlooked.
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