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Chinese Art History Of

CHINESE ART HISTORY OF

(up to 1910)

1. Painting. - Painting is the pre-eminent art of China, which can boast of a succession of great painters for at least twelve centuries. Though the Chinese have an instinctive gift for harmonious colour, their painting is above all an art of line. It is intimately connected with writing, itself a fine art demanding the same skill and supple power in the wielding of the brush. The most typical expression of the Chinese genius in painting is the ink sketch, such as the masters of the Sung dynasty most preferred and the Japanese from the 15th century adopted for an abiding model. Utmost vigour of stroke was here combined with utmost delicacy of modulation. Rich colour and the use of gold are an integral part of the Buddhist pictures, though in the masterpieces of the religious painters a grand rhythm of linear design gives the fundamental character. Exquisite subdued colour is also found in the "flower and bird pieces" and still-life subjects of the Sung artists, and becomes more emphatic and variegated in the decorative artists of the Ming period.

Not to represent facts, but to suggest a poetic idea (often perfumed, so to speak, with reminiscence of some actual poem), has ever been the Chinese artist's aim. "A picture is a voiceless poem" is an old saying in China, where very frequently the artist was a literary man by profession. Oriental critics lay more stress on loftiness of sentiment and tone than on technical qualities. This idealist temper helps to explain the deliberate avoidance of all emphasis on appearances of material solidity by means of chiaroscuro, etc., and the exclusive use of the light medium of water-colour. The Chinese express actual dislike for the representation of relief. Whoever compares the painting of Europe with that of Asia (and Chinese painting is the central type for the one continent, as Italian may claim to be for the other) must first understand this contrast of aim. The limitations of the Chinese are great, but these limitations save them from mistaking advances in science for advances in art, and from petty imitation of fact. Their religious painting has great affinity with the early religious art of Italy (e.g. that of Siena). But the ideas of the Renaissance, its scientific curiosity, its materialism, its glorification of human personality, are wholly missing in China. For Europe, Man is ever the hero and the foreground - hence the dominant study of the nude, and the tendency to thronged compositions, with dramatic motives of effort and conflict. The Chinese artists, weak in the plastic, weak in the architectural sense, paint mostly in a lyric mood, with a contemplative ideal. Hence the value given to space in their designs, the semi-religious passion for nature, and the supremacy of landscape. Beauty is found not only in pleasant prospects, but in wild solitudes, rain, snow and storm. The life of things is contemplated and portrayed for its own sake, not for its uses in the life of men. From this point of view the body of Chinese painting is much more modern in conception than that of Western art. Landscape was a mature and free art in China more than a thousand years ago, and her school of landscape is the loftiest yet known to the world. Nor was man ever dissociated from nature. As early as the 4th century Ku K'ai-chih says that in painting a certain noble character he must give him a fit background of great peaks and deep ravines. Chinese painting, in sum, finely complements rather than poorly supplements that of Europe; where the latter is strong, it is weak; but in certain chosen provinces it long ago found consummate expression for thoughts and feelings scarcely yet expressed with us.

History: Early periods (to A.D. 618)

The origin of Chinese painting is lost in legend, though there is no reason to doubt its great antiquity. References in literature prove that by the 3rd century B.C. it was a developed art. To this period is ascribed the invention of the hair-brush, in the use of which as an instrument both for writing and drawing the Chinese have attained marvellous skill; the usual material for the picture being woven silk, or, less often and since the 1st century A.D., paper. In early times wood panels were employed; and large compositions were painted on walls prepared with white lime. These mural decorations have all disappeared. History and portraiture seem to have been the prevailing subjects; a secular art corresponding to the social ideals of Confucianism. Yet long before the introduction of Buddhism (A.D. 67) with its images and pictures, we find that the two great symbolic figures of the Chinese imagination, the Tiger and the Dragon - typifying the forces of Nature and the power of the Spirit - had been evolved in art; and to imaginative minds the mystic ideas of Lao TzOøΩ and the legends of his hermit followers proved a fruitful field for artistic motives of a kind which Buddhism was still more to enrich and multiply. Early classifications rank Buddhist and Taoist subjects together as one class.

With the 2nd century A.D. we come to individual names of artists and to the beginnings of landscape. Ku K'ai-chih (4th century) ranks as one of the greatest names of Chinese art. A painting by him now in the British Museum (Plate I. fig. 1) shows a maturity which has nothing tentative about it. The dignified and elegant types are rendered with a mastery of sensitive brush-line which is not surpassed in later art. Ku K'ai-chih painted all kinds of subjects, but excelled in portraiture. During the next century the criticism of painting was formulated in six canons by Hsieh Ho. Rhythm, organic or structural beauty, is the supreme quality insisted on.

T'ang dynasty (A.D. 618-907)

During the T'ang dynasty the empire expanded to its utmost limits, stretching as far as the Persian Gulf. India was invaded; Buddhism, taught by numbers of Indian missionaries, became firmly established, and controlled the ideals and imaginations of the time. The vigorous style of a great era was impressed upon the T'ang art, which culminated in Wu TaotzOøΩ, universally acknowledged as the greatest of all Chinese painters. It is doubtful if any of his work remains. The picture reproduced (Plate I. fig. 2) was long attributed to him, but is now thought to be of later date, like the two landscapes well known under his name in Japan. Wu TaotzOøΩ seems to have given supreme expression to the central subject of Buddhist art, the Nirvana of Buddha, who lies serenely asleep, with all creation, from saints and kings to birds and beasts, passionately bewailing him. The composition is known from Japanese copies; and it is in fact from the early religious schools of Japan that we can best conjecture the grandeur of the T'ang style. Wu TaotzOøΩ excelled in all subjects: other masters are best known for some particular one. Han Kan was famous for his horses, the models for succeeding generations of painters, both Chinese and Japanese. A specimen of his brush is in the British Museum; and in the same collection is a long roll which gives a glimpse of the landscape of this age. It is a copy by a great master of the Yuen dynasty, Chao MOøΩng-fu, from a famous painting by Wang Wei, representing scenes on the Wang Ch'uan, the latter's home (Plate I. fig. 3 shows a fragment). With the T'ang age landscape matured, and two schools arose, one headed by Wang Wei, the other by Li SsOøΩ-hsOøΩn. The style of Wang Wei, who was equally famous as a poet, had a romantic idealist character - disdainful of mere fact - which in later developments created the "literary man's picture" of the Southern school, as opposed to the vigorous naturalism of the North.

Five dynasties (A.D. 907-960)

Next come five brief dynasties, memorable less for any corporate style or tradition, than for some fine painters like HsOøΩ Hsi, famous for his flowers, and Huang Ch'uan, a great master in a delicate style. Two pictures by him, fowls and peonies, of extraordinary beauty, are in the British Museum.

Sung dynasty (A.D. 960-1280)

The empire, which had been broken up, was reunited, though shorn of its outer dependencies, under the house of Sung. This was an age of culture in which the freedom of the individual was proclaimed anew; glorious in art as in poetry and philosophy; the period which for Asia stands in history as the Periclean age for Europe.

The religious paintings of Li Lung-mien, the grandest of Sung masters, if less forcible than those of T'ang, were unsurpassed in harmonious rhythm of design and colour. But the most characteristic painting of this period is in landscape and nature-subjects. With a passion unmatched in Europe till Wordsworth's day, the Sung artists portrayed their delight in mountains, mists, plunging torrents, the flight of the wild geese from the reed-beds, the moonlit reveries of sages in forest solitudes, the fisherman in his boat on lake or stream. To them also, steeped in the Zen philosophy of contemplation, a flowering branch was no mere subject for a decorative study, but a symbol of the infinite life of nature. A mere hint to the spectator's imagination is often all that they rely on; proof of the singular fulness and reality of the culture of the time. The art of suggestion has never been carried farther. Such traditional subjects as "Curfew from a Distant Temple" and "The Moon over Raging Waves" indicate the poetic atmosphere of this art. Ma Yuan, Hsia Kuei and the emperor Hwei-tsung are among the greatest landscape artists of this period. They belong to the South Sung school, which loved to paint the gorges and towering rock-pinnacles of the Yangtsze. The sterner, less romantic scenery of the Hwang-Ho inspired the Northern school, of which Kuo Hsi and Li Ch'eng were famous among many others. Muh Ki was one of the greatest masters of the ink sketch; Chao Tan Lin was famed for his tigers; Li Ti for his flowers as for his landscapes; Mao I for still-life: to name a few among a host.

Yuen dynasty (A.D. 1280-1368)

The Mongol dynasty continues in art the Sung tradition. Chao MOøΩng-fu, the greatest master of his time, belongs to both periods, and ranks with the highest names in Chinese painting. A landscape by him, copied from Wang Wei, has been already mentioned as in the British Museum, which also has two specimens of Yen Hui, a painter less known in his own country than in Japan. He painted especially figures of Taoist legend. The portrait by Ch'ien Shun-chOøΩ (Plate I. fig. 5) is a fine example of purity of line and lovely colour, reminding us of Greek art.

Ming dynasty (A.D. 1368-1644)

The simplicity of motive and directness of execution which had been the strength of the Sung art gradually gave way during the Ming era to complicated conceptions and elaborate effects. The high glow of life faded; the lyrical temper and impassioned work of the Sung time were replaced by love of ornament and elegance. In this respect Kiu Ying is typical of the period, with his richly coloured scenes from court life (Plate I. fig. 6). None the less, there were a number of painters who still upheld the grander style of earlier ages. The greatest of these was Lin Liang (Plate I. fig. 7), whose brush work, if somewhat coarser, is as powerful as that of the Sung masters. But though individual painters of the first rank preserved the Ming age from absolute decline, it cannot be said that any new development of importance took place in a vitalizing direction.

Tsing dynasty (from A.D. 1644)

The present dynasty prolongs the history of Ming art. The literary school of the South became more prominent, sending out offshoots in Japan. There has been no movement of national life to be reflected in art, though a great body of admirable painting has been produced, down to the present day. The four landscape masters known as the "four Wangs," YOøΩn Shou-p'ing and Wu Li are pre-eminent names.

Sources and AUTHORITIES - While the designs on porcelain, screens, etc., have long been admired in the West, the paintings of which these are merely reproductions have been utterly ignored. Ignorance has gained authority with time, till the very existence of a great school of Chinese painting has been denied. Materials for study are scanty. Fires, wars and the recent armed ravages of Western civilization have left but little. The profound indifference of the Chinese to European admiration has prevented their collections from being known. The Japanese, always enthusiastic students and collectors of the continental art, claim (whether justly or not, is hard to ascertain) that the finest specimens are now in their country. Many of these are reproduced in the invaluable Tokyo publications, the Kokka, Mr Tajima's Select Relics, etc., with Japanese criticisms in English. Of actual paintings the British Museum possesses a fair number, and the Louvre a few, of real importance. Copies and forgeries abound.

See H.A. Giles, Introduction to the History of Chinese Pictorial Art (1905); F. Hirth, Scraps from a Collector's Note-Book (1905), (supplements Giles's work and especially valuable for the art of the Ch'ing dynasty); S.W. Bushell, Chinese Art, vol. ii. (1906); K. Okakura, Ideals of the East (1903); M. PalOøΩologue, L'Art chinois (1887); W. Anderson, Catalogue of Japanese and Chinese Paintings (1886); Sei-ichi Taki, "Chinese Landscape Painting," The Kokka, Nos. 191, etc. (1906); Chinesische Malereien aus der Sammlung Hirth (Catalogue of an exhibition held at Dresden) (1897); W. von Seidlitz, article in Kunstchronik (1896-1897), No. 16.

2. Engraving. - According to native historians, the art of printing from wooden blocks was invented in China in the 6th century A.D., when it was employed for the publication of texts. The earliest evidence we have for the existence of woodcuts made to reproduce pictures or drawings is a passage in a work by Chang Yen-yOøΩan, from which it appears that these were not made before the beginning of the T'ang dynasty, under which that author lived. The method employed was to cut the design with a knife on the plank of the wood, in the manner followed by European artists till the end of the 18th century, when engraving with a burin on boxwood ousted the older process. The Japanese borrowed the art from China; and in Japan a whole school of artists arose who worked specially for the woodcutters and adapted their designs to the limitations of the material employed. In China the art has remained merely reproductive, and its history is therefore of less interest. Printing in colours was known to the Chinese in the 17th century, and probably earlier. In the British Museum is a set of prints brought from the East by Kaempfer in 1693, in which eight colours and elaborate gauffrage are used. Some fine albums of colour prints have been issued in China, but nothing equal in beauty to the prints produced in Japan by the co-operation of woodcutter and designer. Engraving on copper was introduced to China by the Jesuits, and some well-known sets of prints illustrating campaigns in Mongolia were made in the 18th century. But the method has never proved congenial to the artists of the Far East.

See Sir R.K. Douglas, Guide to the Chinese and Japanese Illustrated Books (British Museum, 1887); W. Anderson, Japanese Wood Engraving (1895).

3. Architecture. - In architecture the Chinese genius has found but limited and uncongenial expression. A nation of painters has built picturesquely, but this picturesqueness has fought against the attainment of the finest architectural qualities. There has been little development; the arch, for instance, though known to the Chinese from very early times, has been scarcely used as a principle of design, and the cupola has been undiscovered or ignored; and though foreign architectural ideas were introduced under the influence of the Buddhist and Mahommedan religions, these were more or less assimilated and subdued to the dominant Chinese design. Ruins scarcely exist and no building earlier than the 11th century A.D. is known; but we know from records that the forms of architecture still prevalent imitate in essentials those of the 4th and 5th centuries B.C. and doubtless represent an immemorial tradition.

The grand characteristic of Chinese architecture is the pre-eminent importance of the roof. The t'ing is the commonest model of building. The roof is the main feature; in fact the t'ing consists of this roof, massive and immense, with recurved edges, and the numerous short columns on which the roof rests. The columns are of wood, the straight stems of the nanmu being specially used for this purpose. The walls are not supports, but merely fill in, with stone or brickwork, the spaces between the columns. The scheme of construction is thus curiously like that of the modern American steel-framed building, though the external form may be derived from the tent of primitive nomads. The roof, being the preponderant feature, is that on which the art of the architect has been concentrated. A double or a triple roof may be devised; the ridges and eaves may be decorated with dragons and other fantastic animals, and the eaves underlaid with carved and lacquered woodwork; the roof itself is often covered with glazed tiles of brilliant hue. In spite of efforts, sometimes desperate, to give variety and individual character by ornament and detail, the general impression is one of poverty of design. "Chinese buildings are usually one-storeyed and are developed horizontally as they are increased in size or number. The principle which determines the plan of projection is that of symmetry" (Bushell). All important buildings must face the south, and this uniform orientation increases the general architectural monotony produced by a preponderance of horizontal lines.

A special characteristic of Chinese architecture is the pai-lou, an archway erected only by special authority, usually to commemorate famous persons. The pai-lou is commonly made of wood with a tiled roof, but sometimes is built entirely of stone, as is the gateway at the avenue of the Ming tombs. A magnificent example of the pai-lou is that on the avenue leading to Wo Fo SsOøΩ, the temple of the Sleeping Buddha, near Peking. This is built of marble and glazed terra-cotta. The pai-lou, like the Japanese torii, derives its origin from the toran of Indian stupas. Lofty towers called t'ai, usually square and of stone, seem to have been a common type of important building in early times. They are described in old books as erected by the ancient kings and used for various purposes. The towers of the Great Wall are of the same character, and are made of stone, with arched doors and windows. Stone, though plentiful in most provinces of the empire, has been singularly little used by the Chinese, who prefer wood or brick. M. PalOøΩologue attributes this preference of light and destructible materials to the national indifference of the Chinese to posterity and the future, their enthusiasm being wholly devoted to their ancestors and the past.

Temples are designed on the general t'ing model. The Temple of Heaven is the most imposing of the Confucian temples, conspicuous with its covering of deep-blue tiles and its triple roof. Near this is the great Altar of Heaven, consisting of three circular terraces with marble balustrades. Buddhist temples are built on the general plan of secular residences, and consist of a series of rectangular courts with the principal building in the centre, the lesser at the sides. Lama temples differ little from these except in the interior decorations and symbolism. Mahommedan mosques are far simpler and severer in internal arrangement, but outwardly these also are in the Chinese style.

The pagoda (Chinese taa), the type of Chinese architecture most familiar to the West, probably owes its peculiar form to Buddhist influence. In the pagoda alone may be found some trace of a religious imagination such as in Europe made Gothic architecture so full and splendid an expression of the aspiring spirit. The most famous pagoda was the Porcelain Tower of Nanking, destroyed by the T'aip'ing rebels in 1854. This was covered with slabs of faience coated with coloured glazes. The ordinary pagoda is built of brick on a stone foundation; it is octagonal with thirteen storeys.

No Chinese buildings show more beauty than some of the graceful stone bridges for which the neighbourhood of Peking has been famous for centuries.

See M. PalOøΩologue, L'Art chinois (1887): S.W. Bushell, Chinese Art, vol. i. (1904); J. Fergusson, History of Architecture; Professor ChOøΩta ItOøΩ, articles in The Kokka, Nos. 197, 198.

(L.B.)

4. Sculpture. - Except in the casting and decoration of bronze vessels the Chinese have not obtained distinction as sculptors. They have practised sculpture in stone from an early period, but the incised reliefs of the 2nd century B.C., a number of which are figured in Professor E. Chavannes's standard work, [1] while they display a certain spirit, lack the true plastic sense, and though the power of the Chinese draughtsmen increased rapidly under the T'ang and Sung dynasties, their work in stone showed no parallel progress. The feeling for solidity, which in Japan was a natural growth, was always somewhat exotic in China. With the impulse given to the arts by Buddhism a school of sculpture arose. The pilgrim Fa Hsien records sculpture of distinctive Chinese type in the 5th century. But Indian models dominated the art. Colossal Buddhas of stone were typical of the T'ang era. Little, however, remains of these earlier times, and such true sculpture in stone, wood or ivory as we know dates from the 14th and succeeding centuries. The well-known sculptures on the arch at Chu Yung Kuan (A.D. 1345) are Hindu in style, though not without elements of breadth and strength, which seem to promise a greater development than actually took place. The colossal figures guarding the approach to the Ming tombs (15th century) show that the national taste rapidly became conventional and petrified so far as monumental sculpture was concerned, though occasional examples of devotional or portrait sculpture on a smaller scale in wood and ivory are found, which in power, grace, sincerity and restraint can rank with the work of more gifted nations. Such pieces, however, are extremely rare, and at South Kensington the ivory "Kwanyin and Child" (274. 1898) is a solitary example. As a rule the Chinese sculptor valued his art in proportion to the technical difficulties it conquered. He thus either preferred intractable materials like jade or rock-crystal, or, if he wrought in wood, horn or ivory, sought to make his work curious or intricate rather than beautiful. There is, nevertheless, beauty of a kind in Chinese bowls of jade, and there is dignity in some of the pieces of rock-crystal, but the bulk of the carving done in wood, horn and ivory does not deserve a moment's serious thought from the aesthetic point of view. The few fine specimens may be referred to the earlier part of the Ming dynasty when Chinese art in general was sincere and simple. After the middle of the 15th century there set in the taste for profuse ornament which injured all subsequent Chinese work, and wholly ruined Chinese sculpture.

Bronzes. - In Chinese bronzes we have a more consistent and exceptional form of plastic art, which can be traced continuously for some three thousand years. These bronzes take the form of ritual or honorific vessels, and the archaic shapes used in the service of the prehistoric religion of the country are repeated and copied with slight changes in decoration or detail to the present day.

The oldest extant specimens, chiefly derived from the sack of the Summer Palace at Peking, may be referred to the Shang and Chow dynasties (1766-255 B.C.). These ancient pieces have a certain savage monumental grandeur of design, are usually covered with a rich and thick patina of red, green and brown, and are decorated with simple patterns - scrolls, zigzag lines and a form of what is known as the Greek key-pattern symbolizing respectively waves, mountains and storm clouds. The animal forms used are those of the tao-tieh (glutton), a fabulous monster (possibly a conventionalized tiger) representing the powers of the earth, the serpent and the bull. These two last in later pieces combine to form the dragon, representing the power of the air. In the Chow dynasty libation vessels were also made in the form of a deer, a ram or a rhinoceros. These characteristics are shown in figures 9-17, Plate II. Fig. 9 is a temple vessel of a shape still in use, but which must date from before 1000 B.C. With this massive piece may be contrasted the flower-like wine vase shown in fig. 10, a favourite shape which is the prototype of some of the most graceful forms of Chinese porcelain and Japanese bronze. Its date is about 1000 B.C. The large wine vase shown in fig. 11 is some 400 years later. On the body appears the head of the tao-tieh, on the handles are superbly modelled serpents. The technique, which in the previous pieces was somewhat rude, has now become perfect, yet the menacing majestic feeling remains. We see it no less clearly in fig. 12, a marvellous vessel richly inlaid with gold and silver and covered with an emerald-green patina. It may date from about 500 B.C., and indicates that even in this remote epoch the Chinese were not only daring and powerful artists but also master-craftsmen in metal.

It is indeed at this period that the art reaches its climax. The monumental grandeur of the Shang specimens is often allied to clumsiness; the later work, if more elaborate, is always less powerful. Nevertheless, it is to a later period that ninety-nine out of a hundred Chinese bronzes must be referred, and the great majority belong either to the Han and succeeding dynasties (220 B.C.-A.D. 400), or to the Renaissance of the arts which culminated under the Ming dynasty a thousand years later.

The characteristics of the first of these periods is the free use of small solid figures of animals as decoration - the phoenix, the elephant, the frog, the ox, the tortoise, and occasionally men; shapes grow less austere and less significant, as a comparison between figures 11 and 13 will indicate; then towards the end of the 2nd century A.D. the influence of Buddhism is felt in the general tendency towards suavity of form (fig. 14). This vase is most delicately though sparingly inlaid with silver and a few touches of gold. Some small pieces, very richly and delicately inlaid and covered with a magnificent emerald-green patina, belonging to this period, form a connecting link between the inlaid work of the Chow dynasty and that of the Sung and Ming dynasties. The mirrors with Graeco-Bactrian designs, a conclusive proof of the external influences brought to bear upon Chinese art, are also attributed to the Han epoch.

The troubled period between A.D. 400 and A.D. 960, in spite of the interval of activity under the T'ang dynasty, produced, it would seem, but few bronzes, and those few were of no distinct or noteworthy style. Under the Sung dynasty the arts revived, and to this time some of the most splendid specimens of inlaid work belong - pieces of workmanship and taste no less perfect than that of the Japanese, in which the gold and silver of the earlier work are occasionally reinforced with malachite and lapis lazuli. The coming of Kublai Khan and the Yuen dynasty (1280-1367) once more brought the East into contact with the West, and to this time we may assign certain fine pieces of Persian form such as pilgrim bottles. The vessels bearing Arabic inscriptions belong to the Ming dynasty (1368-1644), with which the modern history of Chinese art begins.

The work done while the Ming dynasty was still young provides the student of Chinese art with many problems, and in one or two cases even the South Kensington authorities assign to pre-Christian times pieces that are clearly of Ming workmanship. The tendency of the period was eclectic and archaistic. The products of earlier days were reproduced with perfect technical command of materials, and with admirable taste; it is indeed by an excess of these qualities that archaistic Ming work may be distinguished from the true archaic. In fig. 15 we see how the Ming bronze worker took an earlier Buddhistic form of vase and gave it a new grace that amounted almost to artifice. A parallel might be found among the products of the so-called art nouveau of to-day, in which old designs are revived with just that added suavity or profusion of curvature that robs them of character. Fig. 16 again might be mistaken almost for a piece of the Chow dynasty, were not the grandeur of its form modified by just so much harmony in the curvature of the body and neck, and by just so much finish in the details as to rob the design of the old majestic vigour and to mark it as the splendid effort of an age of culture, and not the natural product of a period of strength.

It is, however, in the inlaid pieces that the difference tells most clearly. Here we find the monstrous forms of the Shang and Chow dynasties revived by men who appreciated their spirit but could not help making the revival an excuse for the display of their own superior skill. The monstrous vases and incense-burners of the past thus appear once more, but are now decorated with a delicate embroidery of inlay, are polished and finished to perfection, but lose therewith just the rudeness of edge and outline which made the older work so gravely significant. At times even some grandly planned vessel will appear with such a festoon of pretty tracery wreathed about it that the incongruity is little short of ridiculous, and we recognize we have passed the turning-point to decline.

Decline indeed came rapidly, and to the latter part of the Ming epoch we must assign those countless bronzes where dragons and flowers and the stock symbols of happiness, good luck and longevity sprawl together in interminable convolutions. When once we reach this stage of contortion, of elaborate pierced and relief work, we come to the place in history of Chinese bronzes where serious study may cease, except in so far as the study of the symbols themselves throws light upon the history of Chinese procelain (see Ceramics). One class of bronze alone needs a word of notice, namely, the profusely decorated pieces which have a Tibetan origin, and are obviously no older than the end of the Ming period. Of these fig. 17 will serve as a specimen, and a comparison with fig. 9 will show how the softer rounded forms and jewelled festoons of Hindu-Greek taste enervated the grand primitive force of the earlier age, and that neither the added delicacy of texture and substance nor the vastly increased dexterity of workmanship can compensate for the vanished majesty.

(C. J. H.)

[1] La Sculpture sur pierre en Chine ait temps des deux dynasties Han (Paris, 1893).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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