China boasts a history of art lasting over 5,000 years and embracing a huge diversity of forms – objects of jade, lacquer and porcelain, painted scrolls and fans, sculptures in stone, bronze and wood, and murals. But this rich tradition has not, until now been fully appreciated in the West where scholars have focused attention on the European high arts of painting and sculpture, downplaying arts more highly prized by the Chinese themselves, such as calligraphy. Art in China marks a breakthrough in the study of the subject.
Drawing on recent innovative scholarship – and newly-accessible studies in China itself – Craig Clunas surveys the full spectrum of the visual arts in China. He ranges from the Neolithic period to the art scene of the early 21st century, examining Chinese art in a variety of contexts – as it has been designed for tombs, commissioned by rulers, displayed in temples, created by the men and women of the educated elite, andbought and sold in the marketplace. This updated edition contains expanded coverage of modern and contemporary art, from the fall of the empire in 1911 to the growing international interest in the art of an increasingly confident and booming China.