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Word & Image

A Journal of Verbal/Visual Enquiry

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Words for images and images for words: an
iconological and scriptural study of the Christian
prints in the Chengshi moyuan 程氏墨苑

Rui Oliveira Lopes

To cite this article: Rui Oliveira Lopes (2017) Words for images and images for words: an
iconological and scriptural study of the Christian prints in the Chengshi moyuan 程氏墨苑, Word &
Image, 33:1, 87-107, DOI: 10.1080/02666286.2016.1263137

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Published online: 15 Mar 2017.

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Words for images and images for
words: an iconological and scriptural
study of the Christian prints in the
Chengshi moyuan 程氏墨苑

Abstract The early seventeenth century is noted for the fruitful cultural, religious, and
artistic exchange between Europe and the Chinese imperial court. The missionaries of the
Society of Jesus (Societas Iesu) became a prominent bridge connecting the two distinct cultures,
where the main differences were, at the same time, the reason for their mutual allure. At that
time, Jesuit priests, such as Matteo Ricci (1552–1610), João da Rocha (1587–1639), and Giulio
Aleni (1582–1649), contributed significantly not only to the dissemination of Christianity in
Beijing, Nanjing, and other important cities beyond the Portuguese administration of
Macau, but also to the transmission of Western knowledge and technology. Along with
the flow of goods and rare commodities brought from Europe which overwhelmed the
Chinese emperors of the late Ming and High Qing courts, Western art was introduced into
China as a synthesis of visual science, artistic sophistication, and eloquence, explaining why it
became so valuable, particularly during the time of the three Qing emperors, Kangxi (1654–
1722), Yongzheng (1678–1735), and Qianlong (1711–99). The modus operandi in the apostolic
ministry of the Society of Jesus around the world is well known for the use of images as a
visual explanation of Christian doctrine, particularly in China, India, and Japan. The
Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola (Exercitia Spiritualia), composed between 1522 and 1524,
suggests that the images should be referred to as a reflection on the word, demonstrating the
complementary function between text and images in the explanation of Christian teachings.
This article discusses the agency of one of the earliest sets of European prints used in the
context of the Jesuit mission in China as a visual explanation of biblical teachings. By means
of iconographic examination and iconological approach, it examines how Christian prints
included in the Chengshi moyuan 程氏墨苑 (The Ink Garden of Mr. Cheng) were used as a visual
reasoning of the scriptures, demonstrating that the three biblical prints were linked to each
other and purposely put together as a result of a doctrinal program.

Keywords European prints in China, artistic exchange, Jesuits in China, Matteo
Ricci, Chengshi moyuan, Ming dynasty, spiritual exercises

This book [Evangelicae Historiae Imagines] is of even greater use than the Bible in
the sense that while we are in the middle of talking to potential converts, we
can also place right in front of their eyes things that with words alone we would
1 – Matteo Ricci, Opere Storiche del P. Matteo not be able to make clear.1
Ricci, S.I., ed. Pietro Tacchi Venturi
(Macerata: Premiato stab. tip. F. Giorgetti,
1913), 284. The first decades of the sixteenth century marked the beginning of a new
chapter in artistic exchange between Europe and China, characterized by an
extensive circulation of rare objects and exotic commodities. These objects
were appreciated for their fine materials but also for the virtuosity of the
skilled craftsmanship. European taste and consumption of luxuries brought
from the Far East promptly resulted in the formation of extensive collections
of porcelain, textiles, furniture, and other rarities from the Middle Kingdom.
The possession of these collections became a way of marking out European

WORD & IMAGE, VOL. 33, NO. 1, 2017 87

# 2017 Taylor & Francis

2 – Berthold Laufer. Li-Chiang Lin. “L’Iconographie jésuite de la Chine: Note amidst the traditional Buddhist and Daoist iconography are also found sémiotique sur quelques séries d’images du 17e siècle. An Incarnation of the Lord of Heaven). “La Peinture et la gravure cantly to a shift in the visual arts in China. Carmen Guarino. 1973).” Renditions 6 (1976): literatus.” in Transferts artistiques: Entre Orient four reproductions of European prints with Christian subjects.” in Face to Face: The Transcendence of the the Chengshi moyuan. origini dell’arte cristiana cinese (1583–1640) The Jesuit missions in Asia made extensive use of European prints to (Rome: Reale Accademia d’Italia. Vol.. in an encyclopedic album of ink stone designs compiled by Cheng Dayue. This book. “The Interpretation of Images in Matteo Ricci’s A few years later.D. All fifteen illustrations derived from the Mo-P’u’ and the ‘Ch’eng-Shih Mo-Yuan’” well-known volume entitled Evangelicae Historiae Imagines (Illustrations of the (Ph. “Circulation of Prints and China but also in other important places where the Jesuits were making Engravings between China and Europe significant progress. As such. namely in India. ed. 113–29. “Ricci and Tung Ch‘i-Ch‘ang.” Artibus Asiae 10. I of 2: Historical Perspectives. serica. The earliest copies of Chengshi moyuan printed in 1605 reproduce of Matteo Ricci (London: Penguin.” T’oung Pao 20 (1921): 7–11. entitled Song nianzhu guicheng 誦念珠規程 (Rules for Reciting the Proliferation of Images: The Ink-Stick Designs and the Printing of the ‘Fang-Shih Rosary). Emperor: The History of ‘Jin cheng shu xiang’ (1640) (Sankt Augustin: Institut monumenta also taking the European prints in Nadal’s work as a reference. Andrea Catellani. “European Influences on Chinese Art in the Later Ming Chinese text. Cheng). “Chinese Prints and Then. The Memory Palace Mr. 131–71. “Early Jesuit Art in the Far illustrate the translation of Christian literature into local languages. 2014). studying the artistic impact of European art and artists in Late Ming and early Qing During the seventeenth century there were many illustrated Chinese texts dynasty China: Michael Sullivan.” in East Meets West: The by Anton Wierix II. entitled Chengshi moyuan 程氏墨苑 (The Ink Garden of 152–78. Pictures for ‘Cheng shi mo yuan. the of Eastern and Western Art (New York: Graphic earliest example of the reproduction of European prints is not a Christian Society. the Leuven: Nuova Cultura. John McCall. ed. Cheng-Hua Wang. 2014). three European engravings. 424–57. “Chinese Art and the Jesuits in Peking.2 Books. 1984). but a catalogue of ink stone designs compiled by a Chinese and Early Ch’ing Period. Le of European culture. Gospel Stories). “Jesuits’ During the seventeenth century other illustrated Christian Chinese texts Visual Culture Accommodation in China were printed under the auspices of the Jesuit missions in China. “Christian Art in China. published in Jinjiang Illustrated ‘Life of Christ’ Presented to the Chinese (Quangzhou) in 1637. contributing signifi. 3 Tianzhu Jiangsheng Chuxiang jingjie 天主降生言行纪略 (Explanations on the (2006): 231–53. Paul Pelliot. Nicholas Standaert. not only in Noël Golvers. no. Interestingly. Japan. Three of et Occident. 103–26. no. and one designed and engraved by Crispijn de Passe the Jesuits in China. diss. other scholars have been European prints could be transported and reproduced with relative ease.1619. the eloquence of its visual rhetoric value in the explanation of text. 2011). includes fifty-six engravings and a map of Jerusalem. organized by the Spanish Jesuit Jerónimo Nadal in 1593. benefited from local production of Christian iconography Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies for the transmission of the essential teachings of Christianity and the spread 2. Jonathan Spence. Additionally. demonstrat. ities brought by religious men and diplomatic envoys. Arthur Waley. and the captions and commen. Besides East. ed. Pasquale d’Delia. Press. Giulio Aleni compiled another illustrated book in Chinese.’” Ming Qing type to illustrate a Chinese translation of the Rosary by the Portuguese Jesuit yan jiu 6 (1997): 21–44. Nicholas Standaert. Cheng Dayue. a series of European engravings were used as a proto. 1582–1773.” Ming Qing Studies (2010): 219–30. Paul Servais these prints illustrate Biblical stories: Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. 2 (1922): 342–43. “The João da Rocha.” in Building Humanistic many scholars have been studying the various aspects related to the use of Libraries in Late Imperial China. particularly in the High Qing européennes en Chine au temps de Mathieu court. Christ (Paris: Editions Academia. Artistic Interactions of the Early Modern taries by Matteo Ricci that were added to the prints in the 1606 edition of Period. during the Last Decades of the Ming Dynasty. Gianni Criveller. two designed by Maarten de Vos and engraved Harrie Vanderstappen. Surprisingly. Ta Hsiang. ed. 2007). 3 (1947): 216–33. Charles Ronan Elder. 1998). published in Nanjing c. The Meeting printed in China using European prints as prototypes.’” Print Quarterly 23. Prints and Letters between Europe and China (XVIIth/XVIII Centuries) in the Framework of the This article is exclusively focused in the intersection between the image/ Jesuit Mission. (17th–18th Centuries). Princeton University. 88 RUI OLIVEIRA LOPES . More recently.” Jesuit missionaries. du 17e au 21e siècle. entitled their European Prototypes: Schall’s ‘Jin Cheng shu xiang. Chinese emperors were also enthusiastic collectors of European commod. published shortly after 1605 with the title Chengshi moyuan. Noël Golvers (Rome and text observed in the Christian prints included in the Chengshi moyuan. Rui Oliveira Lopes (Lisbon: One of the earliest sets of Christian engravings printed in China is found Faculty of Fine Arts. and South America. “Prints in Sino-European Bible scriptures their the prints illustrate. the Catholic missions in China. especially those led by Ricci. 1988). University of Lisbon. Arts in China and Beyond. Circulation of European prints in the Jesuit missions. Later editions of the Chengshi moyuan add one more print by and Bonnie Oh (Chicago: Loyola University Hieronimus Wierix representing Virgen de la Antiqua. 1939). no. ing the relevance of visual composition to the missionary work.” Ostasiatische Studien 13 (1910): 100–18.

Art and the Jesuit missions in China During the sixteenth century. or every year. . or in some other land. if they come to Malacca Pato (Lisbon: Typ. e de que partes vêm. and from how far. ou deles vêm cada ano. year that they arrive. if they are rich merchants. Cartas de Affonso tem mais de um rei entre eles [. Appearing to Simon Peter and the Miraculous Draught of Fishes. Manuel I. Afterwards.3 de Albuquerque.Figure 1.0 centi- meters. 1898). e de quão longe. e se tornam no ano em que vêm e se têm feitores ou casas em Malaca. three years before the conquest of Malacca by Afonso de Albuquerque. merchants. Seguidas de Documentos Que as Elucidam.] se são cristãos se gentios ou se é grande terra a sua e se 3 – Afonso de Albuquerque. . if they are weak men. the features of their ships. 31. whilst the fourth print is an iconic reproduction of the Virgen de la Antiqua (figures 1–4). received the first news about the lands of the Chinese (terras de chins). e se são homens fracos. e pelas feições de suas naus. bk XI. . if they return in the sciencias de Lisboa. ed. In 1508.]. from the Chengshi moyuan (1606 ed. ou em outra alguma terra. Manuel immediately ordered Diogo Lopes de Sequeira to find more about the: chins. se guerreiros e se têm armas e artilharia [. and Chinese mandarins was marked by both progress and setbacks. where they come from. da Academia real das from time to time.7 × 18. e de quando em quando vêm a Malaca. Christ Appearing to Simon Peter and the Miraculous Draught of Fishes. Raymundo António de Bulhão Chinese. the Portuguese king. National Palace Museum. and The Journey to Emmaus. warriors. Taipei.). and if WORD & IMAGE 89 . . if they have traders or houses in Malacca. the relationship between European mission- aries. e se são mercadores ricos.

gave a more or less accurate idea about the great empire of China. . for the first time. There.7 × 18. Francis Xavier joined the Jesuit mission in Japan. or if their land is great. From there he sailed in 1552 to initiate the first Jesuit mission in China.]. which. Actually. Prepared with the information provided by the Portuguese captives in Canton. where the conversion of the Chinese emperor would be the starting point for the foundation of a res publica christiana in the Far East. In 1549. four months after his arrival in South China. However. stirred the spirit of other missionaries who were inspired by his example and engaged in the continuing task of the Christian missions in China. .] if they are Christians or gentiles. from the Chengshi moyuan (1606 ed. . it was the Jesuits’ strategy of approach that changed the course of the relationship between China and Europe. stated: “he impossivel poderem religiosos pregar nem frutificar” (it is impossible for religious men to preach and to make 90 RUI OLIVEIRA LOPES . Francis Xavier left Japan and returned to Goa in India in December 1551. In 1556. demonstrate the lack of accurate information about the imperial Chinese tributary system. Frei Gaspar da Cruz in his book Tratado das coisas da China.). Taipei. . bk XI. they have weapons and artillery [. The Journey to Emmaus.0 centimeters. he understood the prominence that China had in the broad context of Asian civilizations. the first attempts to establish trading posts in the most impor- tant ports in Guangzhou. 31. National Palace Museum. The death of Francis Xavier on Shangchuan Island. Figure 2. led by Jorge Álvares (1513). and if they have more than one King among them [. while in southern China. and later by Fernão Peres de Andrade and Tomé Pires (1518).

Realizing that the success of the mission in mainland China was reliant on the ability to communicate in Chinese. particularly in Canton. Printed books were an important medium not only for the spread of Christianity and preaching work. supported later in 1582 by Francesco Pasio and Ricci. The high degree of erudition of Jesuit missionaries. In addition. but also because they played a fundamental role in the WORD & IMAGE 91 . Alessandro Valignano.Figure 3. Visitor of the Society of Jesus in the East. Tractado Em Que Se Co the Portuguese king sent an embassy directly to the Forbidden City.4 [m]tam Muito Por Este[n]so as Cousas Da China. Valignano chose Michele Ruggieri to lead the Mission of China. The Jesuit missions in China benefited extensively from the establishment Co[n] Suas Particularidades. 1569). often compared with that of important imperial officials. In 1578.7 × 18. and places of worship in Zhaoqin (1584). from the Chengshi moyuan (1606 ed. homes. The Sodomites Blinded Before Lot’s House.).0 centimeters. of the Portuguese in Macau in 1554. Shaozhou (1590). bk XI. the success of the Jesuit missions in China relied heavily on the translation of Christian literature into the Chinese language. National Palace Museum. Christianity fruitful [in China]). went to Macau to oversee the progress of the missions in China. Evidently. [E] Assi Do Reyno Dormuz (Évora: André de Burgos. and showing an appreciation of intellectual knowledge. the trade routes that granted the connection between Portuguese India and Japan enabled the circulation and settlement of missionaries in the main trading ports in China. Taipei. 31. For Cruz. the mission could only continue if 4 – Frei Gaspar Cruz. Nanchang (1595). and Nanjing (1599). allowed them to be successful in several cities. followed by the foundation of the Jesuit College of St Paul in 1572.

National Palace Museum.).7 × 18. Virgen de la Antiqua. from the Chengshi moyuan (1606 ed. 92 RUI OLIVEIRA LOPES . Figure 4. 31. bk XI.0 centimeters. Taipei.

As a result. 1. Jesus Christ. Ricci. Paola knowledge introduced to China by the Jesuits. in that. I: 635–1800 (Leiden: Brill. 2007). and an Missions in Asia and Latin-America. 305–327.6 China. pre. as will be said hereafter. Furtado. “The Printed World: Books. ed. The Spiritual Exercises were meant for every “method of prayer. The Spiritual Exercises of St. no.7 censorship of Niccolò Longobardo. 29–52.. the Incarnation and the redemptive death of God the Son. the inlaid cross. Charles Seager mentally and vocally. and Adam Schall von Bell. Marcia Reed and Paola 6:9–19 and also in Luke 11:1–4. 147a) is an explanation of the clearly demonstrates that Ricci was putting into practice some of the instruc- Lord’s Prayer from beginning to end. who “commendeth his love toward us. 6 – Yao-ting Wang. “Western Impact The content and nature of the memorial that Ricci humbly addresses to the on China through Translation.” Journal of Asian Studies 66.” in China on Paper: European and Chinese Works from the Late Sixteenth to the Early paintings. astronomical. The scriptures (Matthew 6:9–10 China. the inlaid the late Ming and early Qing period can be cross illustrates the redemptive death of God the Son and the Divine Grace pursued by examining one undated exem- plar of the Tien chu ching chieh. no. New Visions at the Ch’ing Society of Jesus: God’s universal sovereignty. a Gauvin Alexander Bailey. of performing any other spiritual opera- (London: Charles Dolman. The book (JapSin I. the painting of Jesus demonstrates that “the Prayer in the Jesuit Missions in China during Word was made flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). was as follows: Charles Ronan and Bonnie Oh. on January 24. 1847). The memorial by Donald Lach. horological. Zhong Mingren and You these studies are particularly focused on the Wenhui (baptized as Sebastião Fernandes and Manuel Pereira). the memorial also Demattè. Handbook of Christianity in China. Ignatius of Loyola. attended by the Spaniard Diego de Ming and early Qing period has been dis- cussed at length by various scholars. and the copy of the Lord’s Prayer. two paintings of the Mother of Jesus. ceded with a general introduction and the published 1548). Francisco The offer of the Lord’s Prayer. “Christ and Confucius: demonstrates the role that images had as a visual complement to Christian texts. 1542–1773 elegant zither. geographical. meditation on the mystery of God’s universal redemption. the exercises were WORD & IMAGE 93 . made possible by 2007). eds. In Matthew Nineteenth Century. In addition. tions. received translation of European books into Chinese. Lastly. they are tribute from far away in the West and are very different Nicholas Standaert. 142. also of meditating. Demattè (Los Angeles: Getty Research which became known as the Lord’s Prayer. East Meets West: The Jesuits in China 1582–1773 I hereby reverently present the following to Your Majesty: one painting of (Chicago: Loyola University Press. Jesus.”8 With this purpose. the translation of European books of mathematical. two chiming clocks. ed. God’s love.” Far Eastern sovereign of the Chinese empire reveals the interest the Chinese had in exotic Quarterly. no. many of the European books translated into Chinese were meant to serve the interest of Chinese literati in Western scientific and humanistic knowl- edge. 1601. permission to offer their tribute to Emperor Wan Li. following the Jesuit policy of accommodation. Naturally. mechanics. commodities sent from the West. examining one’s own conscience. Art in the Jesuit precious inlaid cross. Publishing among the first to be translated into several languages and were widespread Culture. Tobie Meyer-Fong. together with the paintings and the cross. devoting their time to read- ing and writing. Although these objects are not befitting [enough for Your (Toronto: University of Toronto Press. and God’s king- Court: Giuseppe Castiglione and the Western-Style dom. 1965). Nicholas Standaert. Chinese literati were also book-minded. While the two paintings of the Mother of Jesus illustrate the means of Jesus’s 7 – Further studies on the use of the Lord’s Incarnation and human nature. Jesus taught the disciples a model prayer. Tsuen-hsuin Tsien.5 between Europe and China during the late Finally. and Society in Late Ming Imperial by the second half of the sixteenth century. while we the Catholic church of Beijing under the were yet sinners. Many of Pantoja and two Chinese coadjutor brothers. “The Transmission of Renaissance Culture in Seventeenth-Century from objects [ordinarily seen]. one copy of the Lord’s Prayer. but also of religious– philosophical content paved the way for an intensive cultural exchange 5 – Cultural and intellectual exchange between Europe and China and greater access to the imperial authorities. 1999). praying 8 – Ignatius of Loyola. published by of God the Father.” Renaissance Studies 17. contemplating. 2001). 3 and Luke 11:2) emphasize three key aspects of the apostolic ministry of the (2007): 787–817. Majesty]. Accommodating Christian and Chinese A close examination of Ricci’s memorial clearly shows a link between the beliefs. Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). The meditation on the Lord’s Prayer will become clearer upon the Trends (Taipei: National Palace Museum. a gazetteer map of the world. tions given by Ignatius of Loyola in the Spiritual Exercises (Exercitia Spiritualia. directed to Wan Li. 13. 1988). prestige-building of the Jesuits among the Chinese intellectual class. Asia in the Making of Europe (Chicago: University of Chicago Press. as well as their curiosity regarding the scientific Vol. 3 (2003): 367–91. These verses of the Bible were Institute. Ricci. finally. Like the Jesuits. 3 (2001). and.

600 to Serenus. and man himself. pp. some commentators warn against the danger of dwelling too much on physical images. “Gregory the Great Gregory the Great c. p. Loyola recognized that setting a visual and imaginary composition of the scene upon which to meditate allows the one who meditates to be present in that specific place and time of the sacred history (in illo tempore). the Life of Jesus. as is the consideration of sins now offered. 11.” in A Companion to Medieval Art: Romanesque and Gothic in Northern Europe. and II. 10.. But if the subject of meditation be an incorporeal thing. 1. XI. The Directories pointed out the benefits of imaginary vision and the use of paintings of sacred history in the practice of meditation but also the dangers. 94 RUI OLIVEIRA LOPES . or a mountain.” giving instructions for contemplation and medita- tion on a wide range of themes. Setting the atmosphere for spiritual exercise by means of visualization was considered essential to enhancing divine contemplation and meditation. in this vale of misery. such as paintings or sculptures. place. a painting of the judgment or of hell. 151–72. Loyola instructs that one should construct a scene.12 12 – Official Directory of 1599 Dir.”10 Therefore. 10. as pointed out by Nicolas Standaert. Nevertheless. apud Standaert. 13 – Ibid. 11 – Short Directory 26:41. ary vision. The prelude is described as follows: The first prelude is a certain way of constructing the place [or scene]. as St Bonaventure says in the prologue to his life of Christ. 27–28. as confined in a prison. lib. 1 (2007): 7–20. In the Spiritual Exercises. Place: Creating Space for an Encounter. straining their heads in the attempt. ed.9 9 – Ibid. according to a certain imaginary vision. that in every meditation or contemplation about bodily things. p. In this regard.14 However. It was the means to an end but not the end itself. e.g. and the Resurrection of Jesus. 2. and the other things which concern the subject of our contemplation. 195. a bodily place representing what we contemplate. or of Christ’s Passion. Bishop of Marseilles. At the beginning of the first exercise. Gregory was also aware of the dangers and agreed during the Twelfth and Thirteenth that images should not be adored. we must form. 43:124. or the Virgin Mary. Christians. 270–71. the directory of the Spanish Jesuit Gil González Dávila even quotes Pseudo-Bonaventure. Loyola’s prelude on visual composition was taken as 10 – Nicolas Standaert. in which we may find Christ Jesus. as for example about Christ. Many people find it quite hard to make a composition of place. IX. Those who have difficulty with it should be told to recall a painting of the history they have seen on an altar or elsewhere. to represent the things upon which we meditate and contemplate. as the temple. such as sin. “The Composition of useful but secondary.” The Way 46. such as “dwelling excessively on constructing this representation of the 14 – Gregorii I Papae Registrum Epistularum II. the construction of the place may be such as if by imagination we see our soul in this corruptible body.”13 This recalls two letters written by Pope 15 – Herbert L. 2007. by means of imagination.”11 Pictures also can be helpful for anyone who lacks an imagin. in defense of the and Image Theory in Northern Europe use of images in teaching. author of Meditations of the Life of Jesus: “In the composition of place the exercitant should remember that he is present to the entire event. for which it must be noted. 208. instead of rationally “pass[ing] from visible things to invisible. p. Kessler. he recognized that paintings Centuries. no. apud Standaert. an exile among brute animals. as mentioned in the Short Directory to the Spiritual Exercises (1580s) 2007. were extremely useful for teaching the faith to gentiles and illiterate Conrad Rudolph (Massachusetts: Blackwell. and an instrument toward it.divided into four “weeks. “who read in them what they cannot read in books”15 and that 2006). Loyola defines this as a “prelude” or preliminary composition of a place (compositio loci) to settle the atmosphere for spiritual experience.” as this “is not the primary fruit of the meditation but only a way lib. the Passion of Jesus.

Nadal’s work was extended. 1637). As early as 1595. with words alone we would not be able to make clear. The first edition was posthumously published in 1593 in a volume entitled Evangelicae Historiae Imagines (Illustrations of the Gospel Stories) arranged chron- ologically according to the life and ministry of Jesus. Nadal selected the Biblical scenes to be illustrated and oversaw the work of the artists commissioned to produce the images. its impact reached as far as the Jesuit missions overseas in Latin America. facilitated the explanation of sacred histories and Christian teachings that words alone could not make clear. Opere Storiche. either to decorate the churches. including 153 engravings eventually produced by Bernardino Passeri. we can also place right in front of their eyes things that 16 – Ricci/Tacchi Venturi.”16 284. the third mission of the Jesuits at the Mughal court. Either during the Middle Ages and later. 407–15. or to use in preach- ing. Manuel Pinheiro. and Japan. during the sixteenth and seven- teenth centuries. Although the main purpose of this compilation was to teach novices of the Society of Jesus how to pray. 1619) and Giulio Aleni (Tianzhu Jiangsheng Chuxiang jingjie 天主降生言行纪略.17 diss. By the end of the sixteenth century. images could also serve to recall the sacred history and activate emotions that lead the faithful toward the contemplation of God. “of even greater use than the Bible in the sense that while we are in the middle of talking to potential converts. XVI a XVIII” (Ph. Ricci’s statement about the Evangelicae Historiae Imagines explains why it was widely used in the Jesuit missions in Asia. rearranged. China. Whenever possible. led by Jerónimo Xavier. Explanations on the Incarnation of the Lord of Heaven. In 1594 and 1595. and published with a new title: Adnotationes et Meditationes in Evangelia (Notes and Meditations on the Gospels). for personal devotion. First. Christian iconography was imported from Europe 17 – Rui Oliveira Lopes. séc. instigated by Ignatius Loyola. demonstrates a lack of artistic skills to produce Christian imagery. Second. particularly the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. India. the Spanish Jesuit Jerónimo Nadal. Universidade de Lisboa. although they were also accompanied by an anonymous Portuguese painter to serve the Mughal court with copies of Christian paintings. and Bento de Goes. this was not always the case. with the image standing as a reflection of the word. though Confluências da Arte Cristã na Índia.D. had the privilege of having a copy of Nadal’s Evangelicae Historiae Imagines. was pivotal in the promulgation of the Spiritual Exercises. na China e no Japão. The use of Nadal’s work in the Jesuit missions was extensive immediately after it was published. research on the Jesuit missions in India and China. especially for people who had no background in Bible history and Christian teachings. as shown by Ricci’s statement and the illustrated catechisms composed by João da Rocha (Song nianzhu guicheng 誦念珠規程. preferably by local artists who had converted. Early editions of Nadal’s work were also used in the Jesuit missions in China by the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. and Jerome and Anton Wierix II. Maarten de Vos. 2011). the juxtaposition of image and text. through the compilation and distribution of an illustrated guide for prayerful meditation on the Gospels. Rules for reciting the Rosary. “Arte e Alteridade: or reproduced locally. WORD & IMAGE 95 . Ricci considered Nadal’s Evangelicae Historiae Imagines (figures 5 and 6). many religious men supported the use of images as an appropriate means of liturgical and meditative prayer.

Jesus Walks on the Sea. Los Angeles. in a study on the reception of the Evangelicae Historiae Imagines in the context of Buddhist devotional culture. accession no. quae toto anno in missae sacrificio recitantur. 96 RUI OLIVEIRA LOPES . Junhyoung Michael Shin argues that Nadal’s compilation was used as “a meditative manual expounding the 18 – Junhyoung Michael Shin. Recently. in ordinem temporis vitae Christi digestae (1593). designed by Bernardino Passeri and printed by Anton Wierix II. Figure 5.” Sixteenth Century Journal 40. Land Buddhism. no.”18 This Reception of Evangelicae Historiae Imagines in Late Ming China: Visualizing Holy can be compared with the similar tradition of meditation and spiritual Topography in Jesuit Spirituality and Pure contemplation among the Chinese followers of Pure Land Buddhism. 3009-135. from Evangelicae Historiae Imagines: ex ordine euange- liorum. 2 (2009): 303–33. “The Jesuit’s exquisite methodology of visually orientated contemplation. Getty Research Institute Library. Engraving. 23 × 14 centimeters.

Carmen Guarino. Meeting of Eastern and Western Art. WORD & IMAGE 97 . quae toto anno in missae sacrificio recitantur. linear perspective. “Christian Art in China”. on various occa- Art”. in Chengshi Mouyan. Jesuits”. “Images of Jesus portraiture. Vol. designed by Bernardino Passeri and printed by Anton Wierix II. Pelliot. The Same Day Jesus Appears to Two Disciples Going to Emmaus. Engraving. 417–36. entitled 2003). in ordinem tem- poris vitae Christi digestae (1593). and optical illusion.Figure 6. Sullivan. 19 – Laufer. accession no. “Chinese Art and the European artistic techniques. ed. the contrast between light and dark. “European Influences on Chinese Ricci had a few European prints in his possession that. Los Angeles. from Evangelicae Historiae Imagines: ex ordine euangeliorum. Hsiang. Getty Research Institute Library. he shared with some Chinese literati who were very impressed with Ricci. 3009-135. 2. 23 × 14 centimeters.” in The Chinese Face of Jesus Christ. such as pictorial realism. in an ink stone design album compiled by Cheng Dayue in 1605. Memory Palace of Matteo sions. Vanderstappen. “Peinture et la gravure”. Spence. Roman Malek Scholars have suggested that Ricci offered four prints19 to be reproduced (Sankt Augustin Institut Monumenta Serica.

arranged by Cheng Dayue and published in 1606 with the title Chengshi moyuan. Illustrated editions of the Lord’s 98 RUI OLIVEIRA LOPES . and a fourth engraving representing the Virgen de la Antiqua. Virgen de la Antiqua sent from the Jesuit mission in Japan. “Christian Art in China”. one can also observe that the print of the Virgin is an iconic representation and a non-biblical theme. he would not have missed the chance to select a group of prints related to each other to elaborate an explanation on Christian teachings relevant to Chinese culture and beliefs. Some scholars have sug- gested that Ricci offered Cheng Dayue three engravings representing bib- lical narratives. Although there is no explicit written source to prove that these prints were actually offered by Ricci. as will be explained further below. while the other three prints illustrate biblical events and may have a doctrinal connection with each other. Carmen Guarino. “Proliferation of Images. In addition.” in The Chinese Face of not have the captions and descriptions by Ricci. if Ricci were involved by any means in the inclusion of these prints in Cheng’s album. based on the fact that earlier prints of the Chengshi moyuan do not contain the Vanderstappen. Memory Palace of Matteo Ricci. while the print depicting The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah was designed and printed by Crispijn van de Passe the Elder (figures 7–9). already included (Sankt Augustin Institut Monumenta Serica. “Chinese Art and the Jesuits”.20 20 – Laufer.” captions. 2003). 417–36. Meeting of Eastern and Western Art. Lin Li-chiang suggests that Cheng Dayue had acquired three Pelliot. and printed by Huang Lin after European models. Hsiang. The prints representing Christ Appearing to Simon Peter and the Miraculous Draught of Fishes and The Journey to Emmaus are adaptations of prints by Anton Wierix II.21 The argument is Spence. ed. scholars have been basing this argument on the fact that Ricci and Cheng were friends and also on Ricci’s commentaries. printed in 1605. The two New Testament prints designed by de Vos were widely published in Europe as part of a print series of Dominicae Passionis Mysteria—typicis advmbrationibus effigiata (The mysteries of the Lord’s Passion—sketched accurately from imagination). no one would be able to perceive a doctrinal linkage between the biblical narratives they represent. and the Three Teachings. In addition to the prints. following a print after a painting that is in the Cathedral of Seville. after a design by Maarten de Vos. However. “Images of Jesus print of the Virgen de la Antiqua and the other three prints of biblical stories do in Chengshi Mouyan. Jesus Christ. which were added in 1606 by Ricci when he wrote the description 202–04. although they do not have the Chinese Romanized 21 – Li-Chiang. As pointed out by Lin Li. 2 of 2. the three biblical prints. Earth. If Cheng Dayue had randomly collected these prints. for each of the three prints and probably offered the print of the Madonna to be included in the book catalogue. while the fourth. Roman Malek chiang. On the contrary. Vol. They were made to integrate a compilation of issues related to Heaven. “Peinture et la gravure”.Chengshi moyuan. which represent biblical narratives. prints alluding to biblical themes and Ricci only offered the engraving of the “European Influences on Chinese Art”. Sullivan. representing the Virgen de la Antiqua. early copies of the Chengshi moyuan. [Icon]textuality in the Christian prints in the Chengshi moyuan 程氏墨苑 The earliest known prints with Christian themes found in China were sketched by Ding Yunpeng. probably produced in 1597 at the Japanese school of artists led by Giovanni Niccolò. is not accompanied by any explanatory text. Ricci also wrote his own commen- taries to three of the four prints. In the following section. this paper examines the intersection between the prints and Ricci’s commentaries and also the doctrinal linkage between the prints and the biblical narratives they represent.

Around 1584. F.0 × 15.212. studio objects. fruits. Christ Appearing to Simon Peter and the Miraculous Draught of Fishes. lizards. British Museum. putti. Eduard van Hoeswinckel published an edition of the Dominicae Passionis Mysteria containing twenty-two plates designed by de Vos and engraved by Anton Wierix II of which plates numbers 19 and 20 are The Journey to Emmaus and Christ Appearing to Simon Peter and the Miraculous Draught of Fishes. 1580–1600. birds. respectively. flowers. resurrection. designed by Maarten de Vos. and which sometimes includes oval medallions with other biblical narratives related to the biblical scene of that specific plate.2 centi- meters. and glorification of Christ.1580. Passion became popular during the second half of the sixteenth century in connection with the newly established conventions of Catholic Counter- Reformation art. becoming one of the pioneering painters in the establish- ment of a more stringent and doctrinal style of Christian art. 19. standing as the pillar of Christian faith: the redemptive death of Christ Jesus. These editions were meant to facilitate the meditation on the Passion. accession no. rabbits. Engraving. All prints in this edition are framed by a wide border decorated with insects. WORD & IMAGE 99 .1. death. printed by Anton Wierix II. London.Figure 7. and executed by Eduard van Hoeswinckel. Although de Vos was initially converted to the Lutheran faith he reconverted to Catholicism c.

accession no. printed by Anton Wierix II. London. which may suggest that the copies used by the Jesuits in the East may have been simpler versions focused 100 RUI OLIVEIRA LOPES . British Museum.1. The Journey to Emmaus. However. F.5 × 14. the frames with naturalistic and animal designs in the European prints were not included in the ones for the Chengshi moyuan. the sequence of the two prints as well as the accuracy of the Chinese rendition of these prints demonstrate that they belonged to the van Hoeswinckel edition of Dominicae Passionis Mysteria—typicis advmbrationibus effigiata. In a comparative analysis with another illustrated edition of the Lord’s Passion. 1580–1600. As mentioned above. we observe that the publisher uses a different series of prints by de Vos also engraved by Anton Wierix II. designed by Maarten de Vos. which do not include plates of The Journey to Emmaus and Christ Appearing to Simon Peter and the Miraculous Draught of Fishes. the Chinese printmaker followed exactly the European prototypes and even included the Latin inscriptions that facilitate the identification of the European artists. by Gerard de Jode. Similar frames are very common in other publications by van Hoeswinckel. for some reason.211. 18. dated from 1584. Engraving.7 centi- meters. In conclusion. and executed by Eduard van Hoeswinckel. Figure 8.

Interestingly. Instead.6 × 9. with no traces WORD & IMAGE 101 . on the visual narrative of the biblical scenes. Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. The Flemish artist lived a few years in Italy. which is characterized by the combination of Flemish and Italian artistic trends. The Chinese printmaker tried to keep de Vos’s style in the musculature and roundness of the bodies as well as in the dramatic poses and gestures. there is a lack of chiaroscuro technique in the Chinese prints. where he worked with Tintoretto. Florence. recalling the Buddhist painting style. These reproductions are instead plain and simple in their structure. avoiding distracting ornaments in the frames of the folios.6 cen- timeters. Rotterdam. When we examine the artistic style of the Chinese prints we can still see the distinctive and eclectic style of de Vos. probably in Rome. designed and executed by Crispijn de Passe the Elder. although he struggles with the anatomic design that gives form and depth to the compo- sition. 12. and Venice. The Sodomites Blinded Before Lot’s House. accession no. the de Vos print of Christ Appearing to Simon Peter and the Miraculous Draught of Fishes shows stylistic similarities with Tintoretto’s painting Christ on the Sea of Galilee. c. As noted by Ricci. Or it was Cheng Dayue who decided not to include the decorative frames to be more consistent with all other prints in the Chengshi moyuan. BDH 6942 (HP).1575–80. the Chinese artist used a calligraphic brushstroke and made a simplistic cloud design. Engraving.Figure 9.

“in order that the wrong picture may do the right work. to the acceptance of suffering that will be rewarded by eternal existence. Memory Palace of Matteo Ricci. Finally. no. Why? According to Jonathan Spence. The first Classifying: Ming Dynasty Compendia and Encyclopedias (Leishu). 1 (2007): 131–57. which is a fundamental Buddhist doctrine.22 The 22 – Benjamin Elman. as the episode from Genesis 19:23–29. Chinese literati culture. with the illustration of The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah Ricci adapted the popular theme of the ambiguity of lust associated with Lot’s life—sodomy and incest (interestingly. The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.” or the control of natural elements (water. The Gospels scenes were placed side by side in an coherent narrative sequence as if they were placed in a Western book. Moreover. such as the literati gatherings. but in the wrong order in a Chinese book. Chengshi moyuan. writing/painting materials used to render the mountains. “Collecting and classification of the Chengshi moyuan is arranged in three main parts.of shadow. in the illustration of Christ Appearing to Simon Peter and the Miraculous Draught of Fishes. many of them related to writing and ink. such as the one in Peking University Library. the third part (chapters 11–12) is about Taoism and Buddhism. the Christian illustra. 102 RUI OLIVEIRA LOPES . in the earliest prints of the Chengshi 23 – Dayue Cheng 程大約 (1605). At this point. as if it were a colophon or a seal. resulting in a simplification of the traditional taxonomic method of Ming dynasty’s classified books (leishu 類書). he apparently changed the meaning of the biblical narratives by giving the title related to a different biblical story. While in The Journey to Emmaus Ricci used a common vocabulary for the 59–64.” Extrême-Orient. at 64. constellations). Ricci turns to the question of belief by the strength of their heart instead of trust in their sight. Lastly. was placed last. and to describe them in poetry and calligraphy). the images were not arranged accordingly with the biblical narrative. Ricci omitted the incest of Lot with his two daughters)—to explain how happiness and purity depend on the acts of men. which creates a sense of depth and volume in pictorial composi- tion and also imparts a more dramatic and realistic atmosphere to the scene. and earth). to Earth (sacred mountains.”24 24 – Spence.” the contemplation of the “Way. This arrangement demonstrates that Cheng Dayue knew enough about the religious contents of the Christian illustrations to place them in the same chapter with Taoism and Buddhism. but he had little knowledge regarding their spiritual exegesis as he placed them in the wrong narrative sequence and in the last folios of the manuscript without any further explanation. When Ricci wrote the captions and descriptions for each of the biblical illustrations. mainly featuring the deities and popular anecdotes as well as popular iconography. probably because of its round shape. wind. fire. there is one more question to be addressed. Ricci’s commentaries on the illus- trations were adjusted. astrology and the twenty-eight Extrême-Occident 1. The second part (chapters 9–10) is focused on Confucian teachings. mentioning the “wise men. Ricci interpreted these illustrations as different biblical narratives to make them suitable for his spiritual discourse. and to people and their literate activities. one may ask why were these illustrations of a Christian subject included in a Chinese catalogue or album of ink stone designs? One of the interesting features of the Chengshi moyuan is its encyclopedic arrange- ment of the subject matter. (chapters 1–8) refers to Heaven (astronomy. including designs adapted from the ancient Chinese classics. tions were randomly added in the last folios of the manuscript because they were not explained or contextualized as the illustrations on Taoism and Buddhism were.23 Interestingly. moyuan 程氏墨苑. At this point.

yet rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith. as soon as they had come to land. In our view. Simon Peter and other apostles were fishing in the Sea of Galilee or Tiberias.” Simon Peter went up and dragged the net to land. and what the riches of the glory of His inherence in the saints” (Ephesians 1:18). (John 21:6–12) The apostles recognized Jesus not when they saw him but when he performed the miracle. and bread. He turned an apparently random selection of prints into an explanation of how those who keep their faith in the Lord of Heaven will be able to “know what is the hope of His calling. and did cast himself into the sea. saying. and having faith in the heavenly nature of Christ beyond his likeness and domanstrations of power. knowing. yet love. “Bring some of the fish which you have just caught. that night they caught nothing. not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7). According to the Bible account in John 21:1–14. and although there were so many. when Jesus was walking on the sea and instructed Peter to walk in his way. Jesus said to them. On another occasion.” Yet none of the disciples dared ask Him. which makes true Buddhist believers have faith in complete liberation. they saw a fire of coals there. “Come and eat breakfast. the illustrations of Christ Appearing to Simon Peter and the Miraculous Draught of Fishes and The Journey to Emmaus are related to each other. Jesus said to them. in his epistle addressed to various churches in Asia Minor. in our view a closer examination of the interaction between word and image demonstrates that Ricci did more than simply adjust the available pictures to suit his own views of what would best appeal to Chinese ideas of morality and spirituality. dragging the net with fish. and the Three Pure Precepts. for he was naked. However. However. But the other disciples came in the little boat (for they were not far from land. not only because he WORD & IMAGE 103 . Then. Then Jesus said: Cast the net on the right side of the ship. full of large fish. the net was not broken. The next morning Jesus stood on the shore. They cast therefore. but the disciples did not recognize him. not only because both describe the appearance of Christ to his disciples after the Resurrection. and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes. Interestingly. one hundred and fifty-three. though now yet see him not. “Who are You?”—knowing that it was the Lord. in whom. only those who are able to avoid all evil. According to these principles. Ricci’s explanations were deliberately elaborated to match the Buddhist view of suffering. because they “walk by faith. the apostle Peter extolled the strong faith of those who were suffering religious persecution in those regions. even the salvation of your souls” (1 Peter 1:8–9). he girt his fisher’s coat unto him. and fish laid on it. Peter had doubts in his faith. Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved said unto Peter. and ye shall find. Christ Appearing to Simon Peter and the Miraculous Draught of Fishes was the third manifestation of Jesus after the Resurrection. but also because they both deal with the idea of recognizing. “It is the Lord.” Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord. “Whom having not seen. yet believing. cultivate good. the Mahayana Buddhism idea of the illusion and misperception of reality. but about two hundred cubits). and cleanse their minds of the earthly life will follow the path to overcoming continuous suffering and the ever-changing nature of the world around us.

Jesus’s disciples in the first century were known as belonging to the Way.] When the wise man that follows heaven’s decrees. Interestingly. Ricci’s observations demonstrate that he needed to give the example of Peter’s unbelief to encourage others to have “strong faith in the Way. one man’s moment of doubt can serve to end the doubts of all those millions who come after him. It is not clear if Ricci was only referring to Dao (Way) when he wrote. Then Jesus rebuked them for their unbelief. the truth and the life: no man comes to the Father. To explain the blessings for the ones who have a “strong faith in the Way” and for “the wise man that follows heaven’s decrees. Then. “Jesus himself approached and began talking with them but their eyes were kept from recognising him” (Luke 24:15–16) because they were not clearing their minds of earthly events and were therefore unable to see and recognize the heavenly nature of Jesus. fire does not burn him. which are beyond the reality of the things that are seen. in reply to one of the disciples. but also because he was miraculously walking on the sea. . Furthermore. said: “I am the way. the episodes are linked by the idea having faith in heavenly things. Therefore we give thanks for his faith as we give thanks for his doubts. but also he intended to teach fundamental principles of Christianity by analogy with local beliefs. Ricci wrote in his commentary to this print that: this first follower doubted so that we might believe. this recalls the biblical principle of obedience by faith that is described in John. They had lost their hope and faith in “the one who was going to deliver Israel” (Luke 24:21) because the man had been sentenced to death and nailed onto a wooden stake or cross. Jesus held Peter’s hand and told him: “O thou of little faith. Ricci probably related the two stories because he recalled the struc- tural similarities between the illustrations of these episodes in the Evangelicae Historiae Imagines (figures 5 and 6). and imitating his example (Acts 9:2). a sword does not cut him. putting together the values of faith and obedience. In the meantime. saying. 60. He doubted his faith in Jesus because he trusted more in what he was seeing instead of trusting in his heart (Matthew 14:22–33).25 25 – Ibid.did not believe that he was seeing Jesus walking on water. . which means a manner of life centered on the faith in Jesus Christ. Jesus. water does not drown him. which is eternal (2 Corinthians 4:18). “O fools. found empty earlier that day. [. where didst thou doubt?” (Matthew 14:31). or eventually resurrected. After that they heard that Jesus had appeared to a woman and some people went to the tomb but no one saw him so they did not believe that he was still alive.” However. and slow of heart to believe all the things the Prophets 104 RUI OLIVEIRA LOPES .” Ricci preferred to use an example that showed the consequences of paying more attention to earthly things. “A man who has a strong faith in the Way can walk on the yielding water as if on solid rock. Ricci not only used a vocabulary consistent with Chinese beliefs. our faith would have been without founda- tion. when Jesus incited the disciples to “exercise faith in God” (John 14:1) in order to “observe my commandments” (John 14:15).. If he had not been made to doubt. The Journey to Emmaus tells the story about two disciples who were walking from Jerusalem to Emmaus while discussing the tomb of Jesus.” namely Christ. For that reason. but by me” (John 14:6).

When the disciples were exposed to the truth they gave up all vanity and became conscious of the futility of all earthly things compared with the hope and joy of eternal life in the land of heaven. and heavenly things. those illustrated in the Chengshi moyuan (Christ Appearing to Simon Peter and the Miraculous Draught of Fishes and The Journey to Emmaus). which started after his baptism in the Jordan River. which he translated as Upon Hearing the Truth the Two Disciples Then Gave up all Vanity. It is interesting to note that when these two disciples returned to Jerusalem immediately after the apparition of Christ in Emmaus. and knew him. which are invisible and everlasting. He gave the example. The relationship between earthly things. Jesus expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning the Messiah and it was only when Jesus broke the bread and gave it to them that. of which we may find illustrations in Nadal’s reference books (Peter Walking on Water and Supper at Emmaus). he said. and vanished out of their sight. they found the eleven apostles gathered. about the choice that Jesus made to sacrifice himself through suffering for the salvation and eternal happiness of humankind: “Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” (Luke 24:26). but on the things unseen. and those Ricci actually mentioned in his com- mentaries. while he talked with us by the way.” and “For the things seen are temporary. beginning at Jerusalem. which are visible and temporary. According to the teachings of the Catholic Church.have spoken! Was it not Christ to have suffered these things. but the things unseen are everlasting”(2 Corinthians 4:18). Thus Jesus probably showed himself to his two dis- ciples on the way to Emmaus after appearing to Simon Peter. the idea that the world in which humans live and this life are transient. (Luke 24:45–48) In fact. that they might comprehend the Scriptures. and had appeared to Simon” (Luke 24:34). and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day. “because you have seen Me. he expressed his ideas about the relationship between happiness and suffering. not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7) by “keep[ing] our eyes not on the things seen. In short. Later. and to enter into his glory?” (Luke 24:26). all these four New Testament episodes. deal with two Biblical principles: “walking by faith. and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations. Ricci chose to use the word “vanity” in the classic sense related to futility. “and He opened their understanding. “their eyes were opened. and while he opened to us the scriptures?” (Luke 24:13–32). Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:29). the meaninglessness of earthly life and all WORD & IMAGE 105 . In the first part of his commentary. Ricci translated the Gospel of Luke but. who said: “The Lord is risen indeed. The teachings transmitted in the appearance of Jesus to the disciples after his Resurrection are strictly related to the faith that the disciples had in his heavenly nature during his earthly life and especially during his ministry. Jesus showed himself to his disciples. And then they said to each other: Did not our heart burn within us. after the appearance of Jesus to the apostle Thomas. takes us to Ricci’s commentary for the illustration of The Journey to Emmaus. Then He said to them: Thus it is written. For instance. taken from the teachings of Jesus to the disciples at Emmaus. And you are witnesses of these things. you have believed. in the second part.

remarked.e.” mentioning that. The famous Chinese painter-critic Dong Qichang noticed the knowledge Ricci had about the Buddhist doctrine of impermanence when he became aware of Christian teachings and the missionary activities of the Jesuits c. The last illustration commented upon by Ricci was the Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.” Archives of Asian Art 50 connection with the story of the disciples in Emmaus when he wrote his (1998): 7–16. trying to find the door (Genesis 19:10–11). the graduate. Ricci adopted an appro- priate vocabulary to shape the Christian moral example of the righteous man among the wicked to the Confucian moral disposition to practice good actions and the Buddhist beliefs on how happiness and purity depend on the acts of men. one of Dong’s best friends. and the sodomites at the doorway of the house struck with blindness. which was translated as Depraved Sensuality and Vileness Bring Themselves the Heavenly Fire.28 there is 28 – Laufer. “Ricci and Tung Ch‘i-Ch‘ang. One of his students Tseng. However. comments on the illustration of The Journey to Emmaus included in the Chengshi moyuan to teach Christian morality based on the meaningless and transitory nature of earthly life. “Now those fifty years have no existence. Usually. accord- ing to which all conditioned existence. the Three Pure Precepts represent the ideals of Mahayana Buddhism that Bodhisattvas strive to realize. ‘Lord of the Heaven’ religion” was probably of the same Christian prints shown by Ricci to Li Rihua. Ricci preferred to emphasize the consequences of practicing immoral acts for the ones who do not follow the decrees of heaven. which some scholars have attributed to Dong Qichang. According to the 106 RUI OLIVEIRA LOPES . Instead of translating the Old Testament description of Lot’s story.” This is like the Buddhist saying “Each day that passes marks the obliteration of so much destiny.existing things facing the certainty of death became a moral concept in the European Middle Ages and developed during the Renaissance to emphasize the idea of the salvation of the soul in the afterlife. At the beginning he says that Li Ma-tou [Matteo Ricci]. The ones who remain righteous among perversity and vileness will be blessed by the heavens. in the Chinese tradition of the Buddhist canon. the ceremony to order monks and nuns considered not only the Three Pure Precepts but also the Five Moral Precepts. “Proliferation of Images. Ricci knew that this moral idea was comparable with the Buddhist doctrine of impermanence. showed me his exhibition of the western.1597. “Dong Qichang and Western Learning: A Hypothesis in Honour considerable knowledge of Buddhist teachings and probably established a of James Cahill. or in a constant state of flux. This “exhibition of the western. “Lord of Heaven” religion. “Christian Art in China”. the third of the Five Moral Precepts relates to sexual misconduct. which he considered “worth adopting. and living to benefit all beings.” (1922): 343. causing physical and mental suffering. themes. Again. one representing The Journey to Emmaus.” It is nothing but the doctrine of impermanence. which is related to the “depraved sensuality” and the “unnatural and perverse lusts” that Ricci mentioned in his commentary to the illustration of Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.26 26 – Waley. Although the illustration represents Lot being pulled into the house by one of the two angels. This demonstrates that Ricci had Richard Barnhart. Ricci chose to mention the consequence of one’s conduct in the judgment of rightness and wickedness. anxiety and dissatisfaction. i. among the color paintings depicting Christian and Western 28. cultivating goodness. without exception. keeping them from doing evil. when he had passed the age of 50. As mentioned above. is transient.”27 It is also worth 27 – Li-Chiang.

the necessity for all men to do good. there is no solid ground yet to say whether Cheng Dayue acquired the illustrations himself or if they were actually given to him by Ricci. paired with the commen- taries by Ricci. Conclusions A close examination of these three illustrations. although Ricci’s commentaries are not accurate descriptions of the biblical narratives illustrated in Cheng’s book. and Qu Yi for the insights shared during the research conducted in Shanghai. and. so I too will refrain from sexual misconduct every day and every night” (如諸佛盡壽。不婬 29 – The Shinsan Dainihon Zokuzokyo “卍新纂 欲。我某甲一日一夜不婬欲。).29 大日本續藏經” (卍新纂續藏) (Tokyo: Kokusho Kankokai. The author is also immensely grateful to Cheng-hua Wang. and Gu Weimin. 1600–1800” conference held at the Academia Sinica. Taipei. Funding This work was supported by the Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia [grant number FCT/ SFRH/BPD/79355/2011]. and a Visiting Scholar at the International Center for Studies of Chinese Civilization. Shih Ching-fei. Li-chiang Lin. Anna Grasskamp. However. Acknowledgments This work is the result of research conducted between 2013 and 2015 while the author was a postdoctoral research fellow at the Artistic Studies Research Centre. In fact. based on the iconological analysis of the interaction between image and text (icontextuality). who provided insight and expertise during the discussion of part of the article. University of Lisbon. the third precept says. in order to benefit from happiness and eternal bliss. WORD & IMAGE 107 . Shih-hwa Chiu.). demonstrates that the Italian Jesuit easily constructed a solid reasoning of the Scriptures by pointing out three main subjects: the obedi- ence and faith that all men should have in the Lord of Heaven. the conclusions of this paper lean heavily towards upholding the opinions of those who argue that Ricci may have offered these prints as visual explanation and accommodation of Christian teachings to Chinese local beliefs. Deng Fei. Faculty of Fine Arts. they match in terms of exegetical content and spiritual understanding. “As the great Buddha refrained from sexual misconduct. although they may not agree with all the conclusions. The author thanks the valuable support of Dong Shaoxin. and be an example of moral conduct to others. Kristina Kleugthen. Yu-chih Lai.d. Richard Vinograd. and all the participants at the “Interactions in Art: East Asia and Europe. Fudan University. In addition. ceremonial version of the Five Moral Precepts found in the Guijie Yaoji 歸戒要 集 (Book of the Precepts to Take Refuge in the Buddha). n. the sacrifice of the Lord of Heaven to benefit men’s happiness and eternal bliss in Paradise. avoid evil actions.