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The Classical Gardens of Shanghai$
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Shelly Bryant

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9789888208814

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888208814.001.0001

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date: 25 February 2020

Yu Yuan: Staging a Family Drama

Yu Yuan: Staging a Family Drama

Chapter:
(p.102) 6 Yu Yuan: Staging a Family Drama
Source:
The Classical Gardens of Shanghai
Author(s):

Shelly Bryant

Publisher:
Hong Kong University Press
DOI:10.5790/hongkong/9789888208814.003.0006

Built when the development of Jiangnan gardens was at its peak, Yu Yuan is not only the pride of Shanghai, but also one of the finest Ming dynasty gardens remaining anywhere in China. Construction of the garden began in 1559, making it a near contemporary of Suzhou’s Humble Administrator’s, Lingering, and Master-of-the-Nets Gardens, Wuxi’s Jichang Yuan, and Hangzhou’s Liu Zhuang and Jiang Zhuang. This explosion of garden development in the region reflected a social change, the rise of a merchant class who possessed the financial means to imitate the gardens that had been restricted to the aristocracy and literati prior to this time. But Yu Yuan’s builder, Pan Yunduan, had the classical training of a scholar. In fact, his family was known in their time for having two generations of scholars living in one household. Pan’s work in and writings about the garden reflect this background.

Keywords:   Gardens, Shanghai, Architecture, Art, Poetry, Politics, Culture

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