Julia Orell is a historian of Chinese art, specializing in landscape painting of the Song and Yuan dynasties (tenth to fourteenth centuries). She received her PhD from the University of Chicago, has taught at the University of Zurich (Switzerland), and held postdoctoral fellowships at the Getty Research Institute and Academia Sinica (Taiwan).
Orell’s primary area of research in Chinese landscape painting focuses on the construction of place, site, region, and empire in painting and other visual media, on art and the production of knowledge, cultural and historical geography, and the history of cartography. Her book manuscript in progress, tentatively titled Landscape Painting and Geographical Knowledge in Song China, re-evaluates landscape painting by positing it as an active participant in geographical discourse and examines its interaction with other visual and textual practices in processes of knowledge formation.
Orell’s second area of research addresses the formation of East Asian art history as an academic discipline in the German-speaking parts of Europe in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It explores the challenges East Asian art presented to art historical methodologies and presents a historiographical perspective to the debate about global art history.