Chinese Flashcards

ConfucianismA philosophy that adheres to the teachings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius. It shows the way to ensure a stable government and an orderly society in the present world and stresses a moral code of conduct.
Daoismphilosophical system developed by of Lao-tzu and Chuang-tzu advocating a simple honest life and noninterference with the course of natural events
Literatia style of painting that reflects the taste of the educated class of East Asian intellectuals and scholars. Characteristics include an appreciation for the antique, small scale, and an intimate connection between maker and audience
PagodaAn east Asian reliquary tower built with successively smaller, repeated stories. Each story is usually marked by an elaborate projecting roof
PorcelainA type of extremely hard and fine white ceramic first made by Chinese potters in the 8th century CE. Made from a mixture of kaolin and petuntse, porcelain is fired at a very high temperature, and the final product has a translucent surface
TaotieA mask with a dragon or animal-like face common as a decorative motif in chinese art
Fan Ding
Shang Dynasty
1700-1100 BCE
-very early
-one of over 30 types of vessels use in ritual practices
-Ding are rectangular vessels are elongated legs are used for the offering of food
-often they are decorated with bosses of Taotie faces (pertruiting decorations)
-barrels get more elaborate
-burial practice
-evidence of bronze casting

* comparable to Bronze age in Mediterranean

Bi with Dragons, Zhou Dynasty,
4th-3th BCE,

-Circular jade disk with round center
-Bi are associated with the sky or heaven and were often found on the body of the deceased in royal burials
-Dragons are a Chinese symbol of good luck
-Hard jade surface is expertly carved with finely modulated raised spirals and delicately penetrated surfaces
-counterpoint to Guang
-burial, found of body
-Jade is very difficult to carve
-early on these were glass

Ceramic Soldiers, Qin Dynasty, 210 BCE, Earthware,
Lintong, Shaanxi

-Bodies and heads modeled separately from one another and then attracted
-Combining several different head and body design gives a sense of distinctiveness to each figure
-8000 figures and 200 horses, all life sized
-funerary site
-bronze chariots
-written about but wasnt believed

Painted Banner, Han Dynasty, 160 BCE, Colors on silk,

-People from this time in China believed in close relationship between the human and supernatural worlds
-The banner is divided into three sections representing heaven, earth and the underworld
-In heaven reside the Sun, Moon, and Torch dragon
-The entrance to heaven is guarded by to seated figures below which the deceased is escorted and welcomed to heaven by attendants
-Below in the earthly realm is a platform with ritual vessels containing food for the deceased
-Chinese thinking about the universe pre-religion
-funerary site of woman
-idea of being welcomed to heaven
-division between heaven and earth
-informative piece on how Chinese viewed their relationship with heaven
-right before Confucianism

Seated Buddha, 6 dynasty period, c 460 CE, Stone,

-The most impressive works of Buddhist art are the rock-cut caves situated along the silk road from China to Central Asia
-The elongated ears, ushnisha, and monks robes are traditional attributes of Buddha
-The full face and torso, massive shoulders, and stylized drapery show a strong influence of Central Asia
-full rounded face
-drapery looks like line work not falling on body

Incense Burner,
Han Dynasty,
113 BCE,

-Daoism emphasizes the close relationship between humans and nature, and is concerned with creating harmony in life
-Daoists believed that the land of the immortals was in the eastern sea
-The gold inlay of the incense burner signify the waves of the sea
-Above them rise the mountains of the island that are crowded with animals, birds and the immortals themselves
-about journey
-smoke is going to disguise whats going on
-bottom: a morphis place flowing waves of sea)

Gu Kaizhi,
Admonitions of the Imperial Instructress to Court Ladies,
6 dynasty period, 5th-8th Century CE, Ink and colors on silk,

-after Han dynasty
-Illustrates the seven Confucian stories of wifely virtues; depicted here Lady Fang courageously places herself between her husband, a Han emperor and a bear
-Principles of Chinese painting thought of the brushstrokes as the ‘bones’ of the painting and were judged on their ability to convey the ‘spirit consonance’
-early idea about what the job of painting- representative painting? emotional conveying emotion?

Camel carrying a group of musicians,
Tang Dynasty,
8th century CE,
Earthenware with three-colored glazes,

-Tang ceramic figures express a new interest in naturalism and offer a glimpse into life at this time
-The glazes are splashed and allowed to run freely over the form
-The subject reveals the exotic influences of Central Asia by the depiction of the camel and the bearded musicians
-represents moments in time
-beards=central asia
-equestrian statues (tang)
-not terribly detailed
-looks like glaze was slapped on
-royal class had long nails

Fan Kuan
Travelers among the mountains and streams,
Northern Song Dynasty,
11th century CE,
Ink and colors on silk

-Conveys the feeling of entering the natural world, leaving the human world behind, and of spiritual communion with nature
-The painting is composed in three parts

1) The rocks at the bottom establish the foreground and establish the mountainous theme
2) The middle ground shows travelers and temples dwarfed by the hills and forest that surround them
3) The background begins lost in mist becoming more real, solid and magnificent as it ascends

-monumentality of natural world vs small outside world
-soaring rocky peaks
-play of focus on strength of peaks and how small humanity is in reality
-not a real place (conveys feelings)

Xia Gui, Section of “Twelve views of landscape”,
Southern Song Dynasty, 13th century CE, Ink silk

-Southern Song painters presented an intimate and lyrical view of nature in contrast to the majestic view of the Northern Song
-The composition present a landscape veiled in mist in which detailed vignettes are presented in quasi-isolation
-The great expanses of blank space suggest a fleeting world that can be captured only in glimpses
-imitate the lyrical view
-little vignettes vs. vast nothing
-fleetingness of the world
-things arent permanent

The Forbidden City
Ming Dynasty
15th Century CE

-important courtyard
-This if followed by another courtyard surrounded by three ceremonial halls
-To the north is the Hall od Supreme Harmony in which the emperor’s throne is located
-Chinese cities had been laid out in a grid plan oriented to the points of the compass since the 7th century
-Often the Emperor and the ruling class lived in the north
-During the Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties the Mongolian and Manchurian rulers lived in the north of the city while the Chinese lived in the south
-The Forbidden City is oriented on a north-south axis
-After entering the city via the Meridian Gate visitors enter a courtyard with a bow shaped waterway crossed by five bridges
-At the far end of the courtyard is the Gate of Supreme Harmony

Dong Qichang, The Qingbian Mountains,
Ming Dynasty, 1617 CE,

-Dong Qichang was a literati theorist who developed an understanding that Chinese painting was divided into northern and southern styles
-The northern style was traditional and conservative while the southern style was radical and innovative
-He developed a program in which painters studied first from history and then from nature with the goal of developing a true understanding of self expression
-The mark of quality painting was not its representation of the world but its expressive qualities
-In his own work we can see the division of space into three areas but it is compressed so there is no sense of deep space
-Due to this the image become easier to read as abstract shapes contrasting with distinct forms

Shintao, Landscape, Qing Dynasty, c 1700 CE

-The ideas of Dong Qichang come to fruition in the work of the Individualist painters
-Shitao’s landscape paintings boarder on abstraction
-individualist paintings start to break whats traditional