Disc, bi. Neolithic period, Liangzhu culture, c. 3000-2000 B.C.E.
A thin jade disc with a central hole that first appeared in Neolithic Liangzhu (paired with cong) and later became a symbol of heaven.
Form of ritual jade (shamanism and ancestor cult)
Fish pattern/ symbol
On Banpo painted pottery
Derived from an early ancestor cult in a matriarchal society
Focus on reproduction, fertility, abundance
Intriguing symbol in Chinese visual culture
Realistic and abstract depictions
Wide, squat cong. Neolithic period, Liangzhu culture, c. 3000-2000 B.C.E.
Jade block, tube of varying length with approximately square cross-section and circular bore. Paired with bi.
Form of ritual jade (shamanism and ancestor cult)
Significance of jade
Special in China
Bridges Stone and Bronze Ages Liangzhu culture, bi and cong made without metal tools Ritual culture Reflective of social status, enduring value Social value due to Confucianism (later to Daoism) Charity, rectitude, wisdom, courage, equity
Evidence of Chinese civilization (bronze vessel, urban plan, written script)
Last Shang capital
Important excavation site of Shang royal tombs; bronze vessels, jades, and sacrifices (signifies wealth/power) Most developed phase of Shang bronze culture
Fang ding from Lady Fu Hao's tomb and other imperial tombs in Anyang, Shang, ca. 1200 B.C.E.
Bronze=status Ceremonial food vessel Markedly high relief Complex molds Linked to ritual, social activities Symbol of Almighty Power granted by Heaven and state
Design of monstrous face with staring eyes and other prominent features Shang and early Zhou dynasties Frontal view and symmetrical pattern Dominance and authority "Ogre/glutton mask" Can represent many animals, metamorphosis Bells, axes (human sacrifices)
Bronze standing figure, Sanxingdui, ca. 1200 B.C.E. Late Shang dynasty. Pit 2
Bronze gui vessel with inscription documenting history Statement of King Wu's conquest of the Shang Son or descent of Duke of Zhou Position of charge d'affaires King Wu given power from Heaven Shaanxi ca. 1046 B.C.E. Enacts feudal system
Bronze zhong (bell) set, Tomb of Marquis Yi of Zheng, late Zhou, ca. 433 B.C.E. Music and visual art (decorative) Weight produces sound
Shang dynasty (1600-1046 B.C.E.)
Bronze vessels have small inscriptions (clan name) Linked to authority, power, status
Ritual vessels related to social activities Mask motif Animism
Funerary artifacts used as substitutes for actual objects to accompany dead into nether world, such as the terra-cotta army in the First Emperor's tomb
Zhou dynasty (1046-256 B.C.E.)
Bronze vessels: long inscriptions record events
Rite and music=mainstream culture
Decor expands into space, high relief
Confucianism/Daoism on rise (concept of heaven/earth)
Simplification, naturalism increasing Mass production to imitate elite
Qin dynasty (221 B.C.E. - 206 B.C.E.)
Construction of a central government system Linkage of Great Wall
Unification of written script Terra-cotta =- realistic style, but not actual sacrifices Visual art used to represent supremacy of Emperor Emperor= dictator, killed intellectuals
Han dynasty (206 B.C.E. - 220 C.E.)
Contemporary with Roman Empire
Daoist (successful/peaceful) then Confucianism (strengthen central government) Unification Era of wealth and prosperity Grandeur art, monumental, much related to afterlife
Painted silk banner, from Tomb of Marquise of Dai. Western Han ca. 168 B.C.E.
Mythological concepts of heaven/earth/hell; related to Daoism
Flying Horse. Bronze. Eastern Han dynasty, 2nd century C.E.
Reminiscent of animal style (Zhou)
Naturalism, lack of decoration, realism
Special horses wanted for silk trade
Artistic and scientific: observation of galloping horse on divine bird Movement/pose
Tomb figurine: seated man cupping his ear. Han dynasty, ca. 1st century C.E.
Gray earthenware. Naturalism without decoration Everyday life reflected
Rubbing of stone relief. Wu Liang Ci (Wu family shrines), Han dynasty, 151 C.E.
Stone monument known for its engravings of Daoist and Confucian didactic subjects Art for netherworld Formal, official painting style (silhouettes, lack of depth)
Six Dynasties (220-280 C.E.)
Chaos and division, "dark age"
Confucian values, neo-Daoism as popular religion, and expansion of Buddhism
Painting regarded as elite practice; visual culture enlightened period Gu Kaizhi: most famous painter from this time
Admonitions of the Instructress to the Palace Ladies. Gu Kaizhi (c.344-406 C.E.). China Six Dynasties period.
Achieved qiyun Confucian moral tone
Linear drawing of image (calligraphy)
Figures have emotion
Use of mirror image
Sarcophagus illustrating tales of filial piety. Engraved stone. China Six Dynasties period, ca. 6th century
Development of setting
Treatment of space and convincing background
Confucian examples of filial piety
Confucianism versus Daoism
Classical versus romantic
Social responsibility and learning from past versus spontaneity and naturalness
Human versus transcendence
Within society versus beyond society
Filial piety versus mythic and magic
Authoritative versus laissez-faire
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