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AP Art History Project- China
Transcript of AP Art History Project- China
PREHISTORY CHINESE ART
At the fall of the Han, China had 3 warning kingdoms. Throughout 265-589 CE tens and thousands of Chinese fled South, where the 6 short lived dynasties succeeded each other in an age of constant turn oil and the Confucian system of influence. In the south, creators turned to Daoism. People wandered landscape, drank, wrote poems, practiced calligraphy, and expressed disdain of social work through eccentric behavior.
Sui and Tang Dynasties
In 581 Ce a general from the last of the northern dynasties replaced a child emperor and established Sui dynasty. The Sui dynasty fell in 618 and then paved way for the Tang Dynasty (618-907). Buddhism reached its greatest development in China during the subsequent Tang Dynasty, it had ruled China and controlled much of central Asia for 3 centuries. The entire country adopted the Buddhist faith and Confucianism was asserted and Buddhism was briefly suppressed as foreign religion.
Qin Dynasty 221-206 BC
Earliest forms of chinese art dates back to 6th millenium BCE of the Yangshou culture
THE BRONZE AGE
Terra Cotta Soldiers
Built to protect the tomb of Shi Huangdi, this ceramic army with horses dates to the late third century BCE. This mausoleum at Lintong, China, contains soldiers with individualized faces with uniforms and armor.
THE NEOLITHIC AGE
Pottery was the dominant medium of neolithic age art
early ceramics were corded, unpainted, and decorated with human faces, fishes.
later on these designs became more symmetrical, geometric, and abstract
The Yangshoa culture is significant for its extensive production of painted pottery without the use of a pottery wheel
fun fact: Excavations have found that children were buried in painted pottery jars.
*The perfectly round bowl with highly polished surfaces is proof of advanced technology. In addition, markings may indicate the beginnings of writing in china, which was fully developed by the 2nd millennium. Finally, because the worship of ancesters and nature spirits was fundemental in chinese beliefs, the face surrounded by the fish suggests an ancestral figure who secured a large catch.
THE JADE CULTURE
The Liangzhu culture, the last neolithic jade culture, was significant for its large ritual jades, cong cylinders, bi discs, Yue axes, and pendants
The Liangzhu Jade has a white, milky bone-like aspect due to its Tremolite rock origin and influence of water-based fluids at the burial sites.
The most prominent shapes featured in the jade sculpting included plates, small birds, turtles, and fish
*one of the most prevalent yet mysterious of early chinese jade shapes, the cong, continued to play a large role in burial practices throughout the shang and zhou dynasties. In addition, experts believe the cong was used to contact the spirit world
Beginning in the Xia dynasty, excavators have recovered artifacts of complex but unadorned utilitarian objects
Following the Xia, the shang dynasty crafted more elaborate objects including ritual vessels
Known for thier bronze casting, the Shang perfected the piece-mold casting technique
During the zhou dynasty, the piece mold casting technique was replaced with a more advanced lost-wax casting technique.
The new technique allowed for the creation of more intricate and stylized objects for ritual worship
*The geometric decor combines with zoomorphic forms that appear to relate to the hunting life of Shang. Although the original purpose of the vessel is unknown, it does allude to the mysterious attitude the Shangs possess towards the supernatural world
* Each bell is precisely made to have 2 tones (one when struck in the middle the other when struck on the side). They are arranged in scale patterns on registers, and may've been used in rituals for communication with the supernatural
from Bampo, neolithic period, yangshoa culture, painted pottery
Neolithic period, Liangzhu culture, 3200-2200 bce
COVERED RITUAL WINE POURING VESSEL WITH TIGER AND OWL DECOR:
Shang dynasty, 13th centry, cast bronze
SET OF BELLS:
from the tombs of Marquis Yi of Zheng, Hubei, Zhou dynasty, 433 bce, bronze
With Shihuangdi being the first emperor, the Qin Dynasty was the first dynasty to be united a single ruler. This emperors' exceptional ability, power, and ruthlessness has led to legalism (a totalitarian philosophy), and the standardization of writing, measurements, and coinage. Under Shihuangdi, some of the most outstanding works in the history of Ancient China has been created. This includes the start of the Great Wall of China and the Terra-Cotta Soliders.
The Great Wall of China
Started in the early 7th century BCE, The Great Wall of China was built along the northern borders of China to protect the Chinese Empire against nomadic invaders. It is made of stone, brick, tampered earth, and wood and has been maintained and rebuilt over centuries.
206 BCE- 220 CE
Painted Banner from Changsha
A Reception in the Palace
Tomb Model of a House and Tower
Known as the "golden dynasty," the Han Dynasty is characterized by peace, prosperity, and stability. The philosophical concepts of Daoism (balance between human and nature) and Confucianism (attain social harmony) became central to Chinese thought. This was a prominent dynasty as the "han characters" and these concepts remain highly influential today.
Made in 160 BCE, this banner is from the tomb of Marquess of Dai, a noblewoman. The paintings on the silk represent the close relationship between humans and the supernatural worlds. It is from Mawangdui, Changsha, and 6 feet 8.5 inches.
At 10.5 inches and made in 113 BC, the Incense Burner takes form of a popular legend, the "Land of the Immortals," which has the theme of immortality. It is found from the tomb of Prince Liu Sheng in Mancheng, Hebel. This sculpture is made out of bronze, with gold that outlines the waves of the sea. There are abstract figures of birds, and animals.
Although there are not many existing architecture from the Han Dynasty, information can still be gathered from the ceramic models of the buildings found in the tombs. This one from the first century CE in Baizhuang, made out of painted earthenware. It depict a seven-story dwelling connected to a three-story tower by a passageway. The animals would live in the first floor while the humans would live in the upper stories.
Made in 151 CE in Jiaxiang, these reliefs from the Emperor Wu family shrines teach Confucian themes such as respecting the emperor, filial piety, and wifely devotion. The "Reception in the Palace" is carved and engraved in low relief on stone slabs and is 70 X 169 cm.
Seated Guanyin Bodhisattva
Fishing in a Mountain Stream
Spring Festival on the River
Guan Ware Vessel
After the fall of the Tang, China was united and a new capital was founded at Bianjing However, after the Jurchen tribes of Manchuria invaded China in 1126, it was split in the Northern Song (960-1126) and the Southern Song (1127-1179) Despite these changes, there were advances in agriculture, commerce, and technology.
Carved from wood on the northern border of Song China (907-1125), this Bodhisattva sits on rocks by the sea. Although he is a young prince and wears royal garments and jewelry, the Guanyin Bodhisattva can take place as a male or female, rich or poor. The purpose of this piece is to show compassion. This position, as his right arm sits on his bent right knee with his left arm and foot hang down, is known as the "royal ease."
Painted by Xu Daoning using ink of silk, this handscroll shows the goal of Chinese artistic expression which is communion with nature. Made in the 11th century, this 19X6 inch artifact shows a small footbridge, a fishing stream, and high mountains.
Made for imperial use, this artifact has an everted lip, high neck, and rounded body. This shows a sense of harmony. From the southern Song dynasty in the 13th century CE, the piece's beautiful cracked pattern was deliberately made. This vessel is 16.8 cm.
Painted by Zhang Zeduan in 1080-1120, the "Spring Festival," depicts daily life in the Song Capital as it is a festival day. The local citizens and visitors gather on the Rainbow Bridge as the boat brings goods from the southern part of China up the Grand Canal. This handscroll with ink on silk is from the Northern Song Dynasty, and is 19"X6'10".
Not many paintings survive today from the six dynasties. Yet, literary sources describe the painting in this time period as important. For artists, most major themes for painting was landscape. Painters and sculptors thought that wandering in the minds eye through painted landscape was a spiritual refreshment. Emphasis on spiritual value of painting contrasted with Confucian view, emphasized its moral and didactic usefulness. Reflections on painting traditions inspired first works on theory. When a painting has 'qi' it will be alive with inner essence, not merely a word essence.
Calligraphy is one of the highest forms of artistic expression in China. In the fourth century CE, calligraphy came to full maturity. Emphasis on expressive quality and structural importance of brushstrokes finds its purest embodiment in calligraphy. Calligraphy was to reveal the character of the writer. One of the most important practitioner was Wang Xizhi who had works that served as models for many generations.
Detail of Admonitions of the Imperial Instructress to Court Ladies
Made in the Six Dynasty period or later in the 5th -8th century. On hand scroll ( horizontal composition) with ink and colors on silk. Its attributed to the painter Gu Kaizhi. It alternates illustrations and text to relate to first illustration. The first illustration depicts the courage of Lady Feng. Figures are drawn with brush in a thin line with a few areas of color. Facial features, movements, and emotion are shown through conventions. 24.8 X 348.2 cm
Portion of a letter from the Feng Ju Album
Made in the Six Dynasties period in mid 4th century ce. It's ink on paper. Feng Ju is an example of "running" or semicircle style, easy going manner. This is a sample from Wang xizhi's calligraphy bearing the seals of two Song- dynasty emperors, etc. 24.7X 46.8 cm
Seated Buddha, Cave 20
Made in Northern Wei dynasty, and from stone. Buddhism originated in India in the 5th century and then gradually spread to Asia. To the chinese of the 6 dynasties, Buddhism offered consolation in life and promise of salvation after death. This peice is an example of the earliest phase of Buddhism sculpture in China. Front part of the cave has crumbled away and mass like body shows strong central Asian influence. 13.7 m
Altar to Amitabha Buddha
Made in the Sui dynasty in 593, this piece is bronze and is 76.5 cm. This peice is one of the examples from Buddhist sculpture. Amitabha dwelled in the Western Pure land. Alter depicts Amitabha in his paradise seated on throne of a canopy of trees.
The Western Paradise of Amitabha Buddha
This wall painting was in the cave of 217 in the Tang Dynasty c. 750 and is 3.1 x 4.86 m. It is a Tang vision of the most popular sect, Pure Land. A seated Buddha appears at the middle with two other groups of bodhisattvas left and right. In background there is great halls and towers.
Nanchan Temple Wutaishan
This was made in the Tang Dynasty in 782. It shows characteristic of both temples and places of Tang Dynasty. It has a tiled roof with very broad hanging eaves that are supported by a correspondingly elaborate bracketing system. It is a typical bay system of construction functioning as a module. ( basic unit of construction)
Great Wild Goose Pagoda At Ci'en Temple, Chang'an
In the Tang dynasty it was first erected in 645 and then rebuilt in mid 8th century ce. It was constructed for the famous monk Xuansang from return from pilgrimage in India. Pagodas are towers built with smaller repeated stories with projecting roof. It preserves the essence of Tang architecture in simplicity, proportions, and grace.
Detail of Ladies Preparing Newly Woven Silk
This is a copy of a lost Tang Dynasty painting by Zhang Xuan in the Northern song dynasty, early 12th century. This piece is a scroll painting ( painting on flexible support with rollers on each end.) It gives some idea of the character of Tang figure painting. (36 X 145.3 cm)
Two Equestrian Figures
In the Tang Dynasty, first half 8th century ce, this molded, reddish buff eathware with cold painted pigments over white ground was made. These figures depict the lively participation of women and men in sport and riding. They are both accurate in proportion and in lively in demeanor.