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On page 92 of the May-June 2007 Harvard Magazine, there is an article on a painting of two Salukis by the emperor. Robert Mowry, Dworsky curator of Chinese art at Arthur Sackler Museum is quoted that Xuande was "the only Ming emperor who displayed genuine artistic talent in interest. He specialized in paintings of animals, especially dogs. He is often grouped with artists of the Zhe school, since they were active at court during his reign, but his ink depictions of bamboo and orchids as settings for his animals make his works something of a hybrid between the Zhe and the scholar-amateur schools." Mowry says "Chinese emperors were expected to be cultured gentlemen, whether they were or not. A few emperors did turn out to be talented artists, and several were significant collectors."
I just thought this could add something to the Xuande entry, about what emperors were expected to be like, and how Xuande was distinguished in this regard. Hope someone can add some of this information to the article.