The Newsletter 53 Spring 2010

Van Gulik and the Chinese lute

Mei-Yen Lee

The Dutch sinologist, Robert Hans van Gulik (1910-1967), was once voted as being among the 100 foreigners who had significantly influenced Chinese culture in the 20th century. Orientalist, diplomat, musician, writer, Van Gulik is probably best known for his stories, the Judge Dee mysteries. Yet this polymath also had colourful ‘amateur careers’ in Chinese arts such as painting and calligraphy and he was the first sinologist to study the Chinese lute. Mei-Yen Lee examines Van Gulik’s contributions in this regard.

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