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Chinese Art Essay Research Paper The dominating

Chinese Art Essay, Research Paper The dominating feature od Chinese life is a conservatism that has followed certain habits and traditions for 40 centuries. Altthough there was some

Chinese Art Essay, Research Paper

The dominating feature od Chinese life is a conservatism that has followed

certain habits and traditions for 40 centuries. Altthough there was some

culture in China five thousand years ago, we shall begin our study with the

Chou Dynasty (1125-255 B.C.), during which time China reached its zenith

of intellectual and artistic achievement. Confucius (552-479 B.C.) was

almost a comtemporary of the Golden Age of Athens.

The Han Dynasty (206 B.C.-A.D. 221) marked a great development in

China and prepared the way for a new outburst of artistic life under the

Tang Dynasty (618-907), which may be described as the golden age of

Chinese art. There followed a sort of decadence, which was succeeded by

a new revival under the Sung Dynasty (960-1280). During this period there

was a turning back to ancient ideals and masters, just as the 15th-century

masters of Europe turned back to classical masters. This period can be

distinguished by fine landscales and light and graceful statues. Marco Polo

tells of the wonders of China under the first emperors of the Mongol or Yuan

Dynasty (1280-1368). The next dynasty, Ming, turned its eyes to the past

but failed to achieve and real greatness. Since the comming of the Manchu

Dynasty (1644-1911) the art of China has not been outstanding.

In architecture China has just one style, which serves for all purposes from

temple and palace to public building and private dwelling. The design is well

known, being four-sided but not square, built in two sections with a steep

overhanging roof with upturned corners, a raised ridge board with an

elevated section at each end. The buildings in the Forbidden City, Peiping,

are beutifully proportioned and are embelished with glaze tile, lacquers, and

gilding. The work of the Ming and Manchu emperors, these buildings are

typical of the finest Chinese architecture. Few buildings now standing are

older than the Ming Dynasty.

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