An detail of an scroll from the Jurchen-Jin dynasty titled Admonitions of the Instructress to the Palace Ladies by Gu Kaizhi (c. 344–406). In this scene royal children are groomed by their nannies as their parents look on indulgently. COLLECTION OF THE BRITISH MUSEUM.
Imperial courts throughout China’s long dynastic history employed professional painters—as well as architects, artisans, ceramicists, and gardeners—whose endeavors shaped the aesthetic experience of palace life. Courts were