The Swedish scholar, Osvald Siren (1879 - 1966), was well known in the academic world during his lifetime. A professor at the University
of Stockholm, as well as a visiting professor at Harvard University, he initially focused on the Early Italian Renaissance. But
after World War I, his focus shifted to the area of specialization in which he is still considered a foremost authority to this
day, Chinese Art. His many books on this subject include Gardens of
China, China and Gardens of Europe of the 18th century, and
Chinese Painting: Leading Masters and Principles. He was an early member of the Theosophist Movement, a group a erudite Western
academics that saught spiritual renewal in Eastern mysticism, and in 1956 he was the first scholar to be awarded the prestigious Charles Lang Freer Medal
in connection with the Freer Gallery at the Smithsonian.