Visualizing Famous Places for the Tourist Market: Yang Erzeng’s Newly Compiled Striking Views within the Seas in Seventeenth-Century China | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online


During the seventeenth century, rapid developments in urbanization and sightseeing activities increased the popularity of woodblock prints that advertised famous sites. One of the most remarkable collections was Newly Compiled Striking Views within the Seas (1609) by Yang Erzeng. The collection served as a travel guidebook and included visual images along with geographical information about places of interest. This paper focuses on its two fascicles of West Lake and discusses how these incorporate geographical knowledges from the Song Dynasty with adapted images from both landscape-painting manuals and woodblock drama illustrations. Comprised of a combination of poems, paintings, and calligraphy, this book was appealing to both sophisticated and mass-market audiences. Consumers of the book and its images saw these as tangible embodiments of cultural tropes, suggestions for sightseeing, and a particular way of seeing. As a new model for circulating knowledge about famous places, this work meditated between traditional gazetteers and the newly developed tourist market to reshape concepts about place and mobility.


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