Zhang Yuling: The Gender Story in the History of Art


Reporter 丨 He Anan

Last weekend, Zhang Yuling, a researcher at art history, was a guest of CITIC Publishing · Generous series theme sharing session “irreplaceable her: the female image in literary and artistic works”, from the new work “Bamboo” published early this year, starting with the line. The above method shared on the female image in art works.

In this online event entitled “Talking about ‘her’ in art works”, Zhang Yuling talked about the “Madam and Unicorn and Unicorns of the French Museum of Krumi Museum in the ancient Egyptian” Mullion of Naphtti “and the French Museum. The female image in the statue of the Louvre’s “Hermafdos in Borgesse” analyzes the evolution of the body, gender, lust and other concepts from the perspective of women and its relationship with power and politics. And from these works, discussed what is the highest form of beauty and what is true feminism. In Zhang Yuling’s view, art helps to promote the change of social gender concepts, and she believes “these emotional power and the power of creation.”

Zhang Yuling, researcher and writer of art history. Graduated from Peking University and Paris, Ph.D. in the Department of Art and Archeology. He has long written art history column for magazines such as “Sanlian Life Weekly”, “New Knowledge” and “Single Reading”. Founder of Du Art Club. He is the author of “Aesthetic” and “Bamboo is not as good as meat”, which have translated “Medieval Society”, “Micro Spiritual Analysis”, “I Writing from China”, “Interpretation of Kant and Bergson” and so on.

The statue of Naphtti created its own history

In January of this year, Zhang Yuling published a new work “Bamboo is not as good as meat”. When listening to the music performance, the string instrument is not as good as playing musical instruments, and playing instruments is not as good as human singing. It is a uncommon recognition of the traditional Chinese tradition that ranks first.


During the event, Zhang Yuling specially shared the ancient Egyptian “Queen of Naphtti” mentioned in “Bamboo”. Compared to her husband’s statue of Pharaoh’s Pharaoh, the image of the queen looks more male characteristics. Is there a certain power relationship behind this statue characteristics?


“Matthery of Naphtti”, from 1351 BC to 1334 BC, limestone, painted gypsum, quartz, wax, 48 cm high, Berlin New Museum.


Zhang Yuling believes that when talking about ancient problems, we must go back to the context of ancient problems. Naphtti was shaped to be more resolute. Her husband was shaped more feminine, with very long waist and very wide buttocks, but this does not mean that Naphtti’s power has risen. Weaken power is because they have a new idea of ​​power.

At that time, in the era of maternal society, the feminine characteristics of fertility, wide buttocks, and long waist were exactly the relationship between power and the relationship between the land directly with the earth, and the sun (the sunshine as the main god at the time). Of course, in another aspect, in the history of Egypt, Naphtti is precisely a woman with an equal status with her husband Arkena. This view has been recognized by Egyptian scholars, “She is her A very influential and leaving many mysterious mysterious women. “

So why is Naphtti’s image be shaped like this? The real reasons have no uniform explanation of Egyptian scholars.

Zhang Yuling once mentioned in his article that the statue of Naphtti created its own history. It was in Egypt and was later brought back to Berlin by the Germans, and was almost going back to Egypt. It has an influence on modern art hedging and an impact on modern thinkers, and was finally seen by Hitler. This series of history was created by this product itself. Therefore, when historians say it is “unable to test”, it is not a very negative thing.


“Bamboo is not as good as meat: power and body in ancient Western art”, Zhang Yuling, CITIC Publishing Group, January 2020.

In the eyes of medieval people, the world is a symbolic world

In Zhang Yuling’s “Bamboo”, a chapter is the title “Dedicated to Me only to the only desire”. And unicorn. This set of wall blankets is a medieval work that Zhang Yuling likes very much, and is now collected in the Kruni Museum in Paris.

Some people think that the artwork of “Mrs. and Unicorn” is “a major victory in celebrating the desire of women in history”. Why do you say that?

This wall blanket is the treasure of the town of the Kruni Museum, including six works. It is presented in a ring in the museum. ) The top of the blue tent. The other five works are circulating around it, which is equivalent to their status. It also represents people’s facial features: vision, hearing, smell, taste, and touch. Each picture represents a sense of sense.

“Madam and Unicorn” wall blanket series “Dedicated to My only Desire”, about the end of the 15th century, wool, silk threads, gold and silver wires, about 373 cm × 358 cm, Paris Kluni Museum.


In this center of the center, although there is a pleasure of facial features, this beautiful woman takes off all the jewelry and give it to the maid (in the hand) box to show her abandonment of all the senses. She wants to abandon the prosperity and enjoyment of the world. “My only desire” is that I can be with God. This is a classic explanation.

Another explanation has also been mentioned and supported by many people. The British drama “The Tudors” once mentioned the story. At that time, the famous Henry VIII in the British King had a beautiful sister named Mary. He liked her very much, but still regarded her as a political weight. So she asked her brother to write a written commitment: “If my husband is dead, I must choose the next husband.” Henry VIII agreed to her.

Louis twelve died three months after marriage. Mary was imprisoned at the Kluni Monastery (that is, where the Cruibe Museum is now displayed in this group of wall blankets) for 40 days to see if she was pregnant. One thing in her heart was to marry Charles Brandon, the lover of the green plum, and three people were friends, so Bandon took Mary back to China. Mary boldly encouraged a series of people to support her. When Charles Brandon went to France, he held a secret wedding with him in the monastery.

Henry VIII was furious after knowing that he was going to die. But Mary launched a faction in the United Kingdom to support her and persuade her brother to have the support of Pharaoh’s son in France. Under the persuasion of various forces, Henry VIII gave up his thoughts and finally fined huge sums, letting them return to Britain to get married again, and lived in the UK. Therefore, this is a great girl who is great. Said “Little Girl” because when she was held in the monastery at the time, she (Mary) was just an adult.

Zhang Yu Ling has revised the saying about “this work is a major victory in celebrating the desire of women in history”, saying that this contains the two factions: a group says it is the idea of ​​Christian classics of New Platoism The story depicts, the two factions are equally important, and there are also believers support. Zhang Yuling believes that the charm of this work is in these two factions, and it also exists for contemporary people. “There is a mysterious tension in it, so it is attractive.”


“Madam and Unicorn” wall blanket series. The picture on the left is “Visual” and the picture on the right is “Touch”.

You should give men some “see” opportunities

The statue of the Louvre “Hermarteldos in Borgesse” is another special image mentioned in “Bamboo”. Realistic erectile male sex organs are very conflict. Why does this image appear?

Zhang Yuling said that this work is actually a legend that the ancient Greek Romans are familiar with. In Greek mythology, Hermar Folidos is the son of Hermes and Aphris (God of Love and Desire). One day, he wandered to a territory named Salmacis.

Lin Xian is a problem girl. She has a strong desire and admire vanity, so she asked Hermafdosos to love, but was rejected. Fluditus suddenly hugged him when he entered the mountain spring and shouted “We can’t separate” to the gods in the sky. She also became the first Linxian rapist in history. Her wish was consent of God, and their bodies were together.

Hermarfredos has become a female image with male sex organs. And he cursed, and people who entered Shanquan will become a person with a unity of sex. Zhang Yuling added that this work is a copy of ancient Rome. Zhang Yuling believes that the highest form of beauty is freedom and should break through the limit of male and female. This breakthrough boundary is not half -female, but more free and open.

John Berg said in the Watch Watch that men look at women and women are staring at themselves. Zhang Yuling believes that this statement is a very classic statement in the history of art. This kind of male gaze mentioned by Johnberg is unavoidable. Without men’s gaze, there may not be many very attractive works about women -from Venus in ancient Greece to Titan Wickelio “Ubino’s Venus” and many works we are now on the theme of women.

Zhang Yuling believes that she is a very direct response as an individual. It is very good with “being watched” with goodwill and appreciation. She likes this kind of “watched” with goodwill and appreciation and aesthetic.

“Akennon Stone Statue” was excavated at the Temple of Karnak. From 1351 BC to 1334 BC, sand and gravel band paint were residual, 239 cm high, and Berlin New Museum.

On the other hand, Zhang Yuling also mentioned that like the balance of seesaw, only men’s equality can women be equal. From a relatively generous idea, you should give men some “see” opportunities, not to stare at aggressive, but men also have the right to act as aesthetic objects. The aesthetics here include the charm of the physical body, as well as the comprehensive charm of many individuals who are more than the flesh. When the two aesthetics are average, “being seen” represents the attention and aesthetic, becoming a motivation, pleasant and interesting thing.

Art helps to promote the change of social gender concept

In contemporary art, gender issues have always been one of the focus of the artist’s attention, and the expression of women’s body, desires, and power is also richer. So, does art have a role in promoting the change of social gender concepts?

Zhang Yuling’s answer is yes. Because art or creative content such as literature, poetry, drama, and movies, the changes in human nature are not only the concept of social gender, but also have a very deep effect. It may happen slower than direct dogma, but it must be deeper than direct dogma, and it will be permeated in the subconscious of people.

Therefore, Zhang Yuling believes that it should be given to the art to see the art. It doesn’t matter if you don’t understand. One day in the subconscious, when he (her) is 17 or eight years old, he will suddenly emerge when he or her walks or walks. Come, that moment may be important for his or her life. Zhang Yu Ling himself believes that these emotional power and the power of creation can change people’s ideas. Here, she agrees that Mr. Cai Yuanpei, a educator, said that “only aesthetic education can religion.”

In 2002, the Sonter Marieza and Naphtti exhibition held at the Egyptian Museum of Berlin.

In the current public aesthetics, some people think that men with a more feminine temperament seem to be more popular than women with masculinity. But Zhang Yu Ling doubts about this statement, because she does not find a masculine woman unpopular. Zhang Yuling believes that there are many very well -known neutral image representatives from models to film stars to artists, such as Tilda Swinton, who she likes very much.


Although there are more and more beautiful men around us, and this may contain some complicated factors, in another aspect, Zhang Yuling believes that this also reflects the freedom of a certain aesthetic, “boys with a feminine temperament, and the feminine temperament, and Women with masculinity, they appear freely like flowers and plants grow naturally in spring, which is a good thing. “

Author 丨 He Anan

Edit 丨 Gong Zhaohua


School pair 丨 He Yan