Peter Sturman

Peter Sturman

Office Hours

Spring 2024: Wednesday, 12:30 - 1:30 pm, or by arrangement

Office Location

Arts 1214


Chinese Painting and Calligraphy, Early to Modern; intersections of texts, theories, and images.


M.A., Ph.D. Yale University
B.A. Stanford University


Peter Sturman specializes in the study of Chinese painting and calligraphy with a particular focus on text-image relationships. His primary focus is on literati culture of the Northern Song and its immediate aftermath, though he has also published on landscape painting of the tenth and eleventh centuries, court art of the late Northern Song, loyalist art of the Song-Yuan transition, and most recently, painting and calligraphy of the seventeenth century. Among his notable publications are Mi Fu: Style and the Art of Calligraphy in Northern Song China (Yale University Press, 1997) and The Artful Recluse: Painting, Poetry, and Politics in 17th-Century China (The Santa Barbara Museum of Art, 2012), winner of the Alfred H. Barr Jr. Award for museum scholarship. He recently concluded scholarship on Shen Zhou’s “Falling Blossoms” project of the early sixteenth century. His current projects include a book on the development of literati painting in the late Northern Song and participation in a collaborative study of Xu Wei (1521–1593), the noted Ming-dynasty playwright, poet, calligrapher, and painter. Professor Sturman has organized a number of noted international conferences, including one on painting of the Song dynasty that was held in Hangzhou (Zhejiang University, 2014).


Peter C. Sturman, ed. Double Beauty: Qing Dynasty Couplets from the Lechangzai Xuan Collection. Hong Kong: The Chinese University Art Museum, 2003.Peter C. Sturman and Susan Tai, eds. The Artful Recluse: Painting, Poetry, and Politics in Seventeenth-Century China. New York/London: Prestel, 2012.

Peter C. Sturman. "Cranes Above Kaifeng: The Auspicious Image at the Court of Huizong." Link opens in a PDF reader Ars Orientalis, vol. XX (1990): 33-68.

Peter C. Sturman. "The Donkey Rider as Icon: Li Cheng and Early Chinese Landscape Painting." Link opens in a PDF reader Artibus Asiae, vol. LV, 1/2 (1995): 43-97.

Peter C. Sturman. "Confronting Dynastic Change: Painting After the Mongol Reunification of North and South China." Link opens in a PDF reader RES 35 (1999): 143-169.

Peter C. Sturman. "The Poetic Ideas Scroll Attributed to Mi Youren and Sima Huai." Link opens in a PDF reader Zhejiang University Journal of Art and Archaeology, 1 (2014): 84-128.


Undergraduate Courses

6DS   Survey: History of Art in China
134C   Chinese Painting
134D   Art in Modern China
134E   The Art of Landscape in China
135BB   History and Aesthetics of Chinese Calligraphy [seminar]
135CA   Art and Theory in an Age of Trauma: Seventeenth-Century Chinese Painting [seminar]
186RS   China in the Seventeenth Century Museum Exhibition Preparation [undergraduate/graduate seminar]

Graduate Seminars

2016   Realism in Song Dynasty China
2015   Methods and their Anxieties
2012   17th-Century Chinese Art Exhibition Practicum
2011   The Hermit in Chinese Art
2010   China in the 17th Century: Exhibition Preparation
2009   The Methods of Chinese Calligraphy
2008   The Real and Imagined in Song Dynasty Painting
2007   Modernist Structures and Strategies in 20th-Century Chinese Art