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John Finlay
Independent Scholar

John Finlay’s current project grows out of the research for his book Henri Bertin and the Representation of China in Eighteenth-Century France. The albums and paintings sent to Bertin by the French Jesuits in Beijing are mostly in the Bibliothèque nationale de France, but while Bertin’s extensive collection of Chinese objects was documented in contemporary archives and publications, very few of the actual objects have been identified and located. In this talk, John will share one surprising discovery on this subject, something communicated to him by a curator in Switzerland.

Formerly a curator of Chinese art, John Finlay is an independent scholar based in Paris, affiliated with the Centre d’Études sur la Chine Moderne et Contemporaine (CECMC). He began his academic career studying paintings and prints produced for the Qing imperial court in the eighteenth century. His current research focuses on Henri-Léonard Bertin (1720–1792), who served as a Minister of State under Louis XV. His passion for all things Chinese placed him at the center of intersecting networks of like-minded individuals who shared his vision of China as a nation from which France had much to learn.

Tuesday, April 18, 12:15 pm
38 West 86th Street, Lecture Hall

Lunch will be served starting at noon. Registration required.

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