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Picturing a World

Medieval Chinese marionettes

I was gobsmacked on Wednesday when I stumbled across this painting of a marionette theater in a garden by Liu Songnian. Even after editing four books on the Song Dynasty, I had no idea such puppets existed in China at that time! What I was looking for were reminders of late-medieval Western toys for my fantasy-in-progress. Now ideas are popping about some sort of magical Silk Road on which puppeteers might travel. Serendipity for sure.

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