Li Yu

(1610 - 1680)

Amid sociopolitical turmoil at the end of the Ming dynasty—which fell during his young adulthood—Li Yu, a would-be civil servant who failed his exam, remained devoted to the art of living well. His manual Casual Notes in a Leisurely Mood directs readers in the fields of painting, interior design, gardening, cooking, personal grooming, and sex. During the early years of the Qing dynasty, Li Yu became a popular painter, poet, and playwright, though his subject material often scandalized Manchu society.

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