Water Sprites and Ancestor Spirits: Reading the Architecture of Jinci


Preferred Citation

Miller, Tracy G. “Water Sprites and Ancestor Spirits: Reading the Architecture of Jinci.” The Art Bulletin 86, no. 1 (2004): 6–30. https://doi.org/10.2307/3177398.

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The Jinci temple complex is best known today for the Sage Mother Hall (ca. 1038-87), dedicated to the Spirit of the Jin Springs. But for the literati elite of premodern China, Jinci was dedicated to an ancestral figure, the Zhou dynasty lord Shu Yu of Tang. By integrating architectural evidence into the site's textual history, I show both how Jinci reflects the interests of the agrarian community and how its architecture was manipulated to assert competing interpretations of the Sage Mother's identity in order to claim dominance over the site.

Additional Citation Information



Title: The Art Bulletin

Volume: 86

Date of Publication: 2004

Pages: 6-30


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