Athanasius Kircher Amsterdam 1667 Houghton Library pf Typ 632.67.487
The Jesuit scholar Athanasius Kircher never travelled to China, but his compilation of written and oral accounts by Jesuit missionaries was extremely influential in shaping early European conceptions of China. The figures in this scene are identified as Matteo Ricci and Xu Guangqi 徐光啟, who took the name Paul after his conversion to Catholicism in 1603. Both were instrumental in establishing the Jesuit mission in China. The symmetry and open postures of the two figures, as well as the shared attribute of the fan, alongside Christian iconography, suggest mutual exchange and openness.
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Explore Kircher's China illustrata via the Jesuitica Collection at Boston College