The Arts of China
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Hardback book with dust jacket titled THE ARTS OF CHINA.
B.C. Others have suggested 600 B.C. We lack the evidence necessary for precise delineation, and the change that finally becomes apparent probably developed gradually, differing in time from region to region and from place to place within regions. Certainly chronology differs between the northern and southern regions, and, as we have seen, the more remote border regions preserved a neolithic pottery culture well into the Chou period. The bronze kuei in the Brundage collection at the De Young
which took form during the third millennium before Christ. Many characteristics of prehistoric Chinese art persist or recur throughout these centuries in a continuity found in no other great civilization of today. Like the legends of all cultures, those of China describe the origin of the world. In one common version, P'an Ku created the world by separating heaven and earth. During the next 400,000 years, the Twelve Emperors of Heaven and the Eleven Emperors of Earth reigned over the world. The
place in the universe, with all other beings in dependent positions. The four gates of the imperial city facing the four directions are also symbolical, for they indicate that the peoples of the four quarters of the universe came to the imperial throne. The layout of the building complex, with its series of large gates, its spacious courtyards and marble staircases, is also meaningful in terms of the hierarchy of Chinese society, and European ambassadors told of the overwhelming impression made
periods was of a very high order. Both these emperors were enthusiastic patrons of the arts, and the great porcelain factories at Ching-tê-chên continued to flourish. The two most important innovations during Yung Chêng's rule were the introduction of famille rose porcelains, in which pink was the dominant color, and the development of a fine white porcelain decorated with charming scenes showing the slender beauties of the day or the familiar bird-and-flower motifs. Although technically superb,
of the union of a dragon and a woman. The altar of the ancestors, in the imperial palace, was located on the east side, the direction symbolized by the dragon. In later times, the dragon became associated with the emperor, whose throne was called the "dragon throne." Although designs on these vessels commonly represent animals, the animals are seldom portrayed naturalistically. Rather of a magical nature, they are often composite in character or completely fantastic. The common domestic animals