Featured Topic: The Mongol Empire

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The Legacy of Genghis Khan
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
An introduction to the legacy of Genghis Khan (ca. 1162–1227) and the Mongol Empire, which was "the largest empire ever to exist, spanning the entire Asian continent from the Pacific Ocean to modern-day Hungary in Europe." Related essays on the Mongol empire include: A New Visual Language Transmitted Across Asia; The Mongolian Tent; Takht-i Sulayman and Tile Work; Courtly Art; The Religious Arts; The Art of the Book; Folios from the Jami' al-tavarikh; and Folios from the Great Mongol Shahnama.

Go to Museum Resource: http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/khan1/hd_khan1.htm
 
The Legacy of Genghis Khan: Courtly Art and Culture in Western Asia, 1256-1353
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Online archive of a 2003 exhibition that examined "the important artistic and cultural achievements that occurred in the Iranian world in the aftermath of the Mongol invasions. It was a period of brilliant cultural flowering as the Mongol masters sought to govern their disparate empire, and in the process they sponsored the creation of a remarkable new visual language." Five topics, all with excellent images and text: 1) The Mongols in China; 2) The Mongols in Iran; 3) The Mongols and Islam; 4) The Art of the Book; 5) A New Visual Language.

Go to Museum Resource: http://www.lacma.org/khan/index.htm
 
Yuan, 1280-1365
Minneapolis Institute of Arts
"Mongol invader Genghis Khan and his hordes conquered much of Asia, including China; his grandson Kublai Khan established this dynasty, during which the Mongols reopened and expanded overland trade routes linking China, Central Asia, and the Mediterranean." A brief, one-paragraph overview, along with three maps (of the Mongol Empire, the Silk Road, and the Yuan Dynasty), a video clip featuring an MIA curator, and 20 objects representative of the period.

Go to Museum Resource: http://www.artsmia.org/art-of-asia/history/dynasty-yuan.cfm
 
Yuan Dynasty (1279–1368)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
A brief overview of artistic production during Yuan dynasty China. With 12 related artworks.

Go to Museum Resource: http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/yuan/hd_yuan.htm
 
Yuan Dynasty, 1260-1368
Princeton University Art Museum
An overview of political and artistic developments in China from 1260-1368, with a focus on developments in painting, calligraphy, and ceramics. With a map and seven representative objects, all with lengthy descriptions and two with special interactive features for exploring the objects in-depth.

Go to Museum Resource: http://etcweb.princeton.edu/asianart/timeperiod_china.jsp?ctry=China&pd=Yuan
 
Age of the Great Khan: Painting and Calligraphy in the Mongol Yuan Dynasty
National Palace Museum
A comprehensive resource for art under Mongol China, with images organized into four sections: 1) Marco Polo; 2) Recluse Scholars; 3) Polyethnic Scholars; 4) The Imperial Clan. With text and additional subtopics under each section (mouseover images on topic pages to bring up each subtopic), plus a large selection of art works under each section. There is also a special section for teachers with resources on imperial portraiture, architecture, and revivalism in Yuan-dynasty painting, plus analysis of three specific paintings.

Go to Museum Resource: http://tech2.npm.gov.tw/khan/english/main_h_eng.htm
 
In the Footsteps of Marco Polo: A Journey through the Met to the Land of the Great Khan
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Follows the 24,000-mile journey of Marco Polo (1254-1324) from Italy through the Middle East and Central Asia to China and the court of Khubilai Khan.

Go to Museum Resource: http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/bibliography/?id=11542
 
Painting (during the Song and Yuan dynasties)
University of Washington, Visual Sourcebook of Chinese Civilization
"This unit covers not only developments in painting as a fine art, such as the development of landscape painting, but also looks at paintings for evidence of social life, both the commercial life of cities and private life at home." A Visual Sourcebook of Chinese Civilization was prepared by University of Washington history professor Patricia Buckley Ebrey. With questions for discussion, timelines, maps, and suggested readings. Select HOME to find link to teachers' guides for all topics featured on the website.

Go to Museum Resource: http://depts.washington.edu/chinaciv/painting/4ptgintr.htm
 
Takezaki Suenaga's Scrolls of the Mongol Invasions of Japan
Bowdoin College
An excellent interactive website with several versions of the recovered 13th-century scrolls commissioned by the Kyushu warrior Takezaki Suenaga, who fought against the Mongols during the invasions of 1274 and 1281. Viewers can compare the "original" (reassembled) 13th-century version to 18th- and 19th-century copies and also see a 21st-century reconstruction of the 13th-century version. Also features an illustrated glossary.

Go to Museum Resource: http://www.bowdoin.edu/mongol-scrolls/
 
Genghis Khan: Treasures of Inner Mongolia
Royal Alberta Museum
Online archive of a 1997 exhibition. With brief text about Genghis Khan and Inner Mongolia, a timeline of the Mongol Empire from Genghis Khan's birth until 1368, and images of 12 artifacts.

Go to Museum Resource: http://www.royalalbertamuseum.ca/vexhibit/genghis/intro.htm
 
Miniatures from the Topkapi Palace Museum
The Topkapi Palace Museum
Select "Miniatures from the Topkapi Museum" from the menu at left to see a large selection of examples from the museum's collection of miniature paintings, including early Islamic illustrations, Mongols and painting under the Jala'ir, chinoiserie and painting under the Timurids, and book illustration under the Ottoman empire.

Go to Museum Resource: http://www.ee.bilkent.edu.tr/~history/topkapi.html
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