By Michael Sullivan

This booklet preserves the continual narrative framework of the authors past creation to chinese language paintings. just a greatly ancient process, he feels, one that combines vertical continuity down the a while with horizontal wholeness throughout every one interval, permits the reader, maybe impending chinese language paintings for the 1st time, to get a glimpse of the entire development. yet whereas the form of the publication continues to be unchanged the textual content has been greatly revised and re-written to maintain it so far as attainable abreast of modern discoveries and study, and plenty of of the illustrations are new. structure, sculpture, portray and calligraphy, bronzes, ceramics and the ornamental arts are all mentioned and on the topic of each other and to the evolving trend of chinese language concept and social lifestyles.

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Four been identified. The lowest represents a Late Neolithic culture in occupation before the city became a Shang capital, with grey and black pottery, stone and bone implements, and no oracle bones. Above it lie of bronze culture. The the earliest Bronze Age remains first three stages in the development and second appear to be at earlier than Anyang, while the third phase has been tentatively placed as contemporary with the second Anyang stage. Taken together, therefore, the successive strata at 43 THE SHANG DYNASTY Chengchow and Anyang present continuous a archaeological sequence from Neolithic times to the end of the Shang Dynasty.

Are adorned with magnificent sweeping wave-like bands which gather into a kind of whirlpool others make use of birds, while a found at the stylized figures of men, frogs, fishes and human some face with sort of ceremonial headdress Pan-p*o perhaps represented a shaman. Shards found at Ma-chia-yao in Kansu reveal a quite sophisticated brush technique, in one case depicting plants each of whose leaves ends in a sharp point with a flick of the brush was to be used by the Sung The painting bamboo. the majority vast patterns whose — the same technique that three thousand years later, in artist, however are naturalistic motifs are rare, and with geometric or stylized decorated significance is still a mystery.

The tomb Wu-kuan-ts*un (Plate 2a) had only two sloping ramps, north and south, but contained the remains of an elaborate canopy of painted leather, wood-bark and bamboo here ; both the ramps and main chamber were crammed with the complete skeletons of no the less than twenty-two men tomb chamber) and twenty-four women, and skulls of a further fifty men cases the bodies lie quietly (one beneath in addition the were buried in adjacent pits. In with no signs of violence — the some result, perhaps, of voluntary self-immolation by relations or retainers of the dead man — while the decapitated victims may have been criminals or prisoners of war.

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A Short History of Chinese Art by Michael Sullivan


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