Xuanhe Huapu

Xuanhe Huapu (宣和畫譜, "The Xuanhe Catalogue of Paintings") is an 1120 Chinese palace catalog from the Song dynasty, which in 20 chapters categorized and described ~6396 paintings by 231 artists in the collection of Emperor Huizong of Song. "Xuanhe" (1119–1125) is an era name used by Emperor Huizong. The book is one of the most important sources about 11th/12th-century Chinese art, even if most paintings it described are no longer extant.[1][2] (Emperor Huizong, a talented painter/connoisseur but inept ruler, was captured by the invading Jin dynasty army in 1127, and his collection was thus lost.)


The catalog contains 20 chapters, divided into categories:[3]

Chapter(s)Subject categoryNumber of scrollsNumber of painters
1–4Taoism and Buddhism117949
8Palaces, buildings, ships, vehicles714
Frontier/foreign tribes1335
9Dragons and fish1178
13–14Domestic and wild animals (mammals)32427
15–19Flowers and birds278646
Vegetables and fruits256

Biographies of artists are arranged under the category for which he was most famous, which are typically accompanied with a critical evaluation of his style.


  1. Laing, E. J. (1978). "Hsüan-ho hua-p'u". In Balazs, Etienne; Hervouet, Yves (eds.). A Sung Bibliography. The Chinese University Press. p. 273. ISBN 962-201-158-6.
  2. Theobald, Ulrich (2012-09-03). "Xuanhe Huapu "Notes on Painting from the Xuanhe Reign"". Chinaknowledge.
  3. Liu, Heping (2002). ""The Water Mill" and Northern Song Imperial Patronage of Art, Commerce, and Science". The Art Bulletin. 84 (4): 566–595. JSTOR 3177285.