Art in China by Craig Clunas
China can boast a history of art lasting 5000 years and embracing a huge diversity of images and objects - jade tablets, painted silk handscrolls and fans, ink and lacquer painting, porcelain-ware, sculptures, and calligraphy. They range in scale from the vast "terracotta army" with its 7000 or so life-size figures, to the exquisitely delicate writing of fourth-century masters such as Wang Xizhin and his teacher, "Lady Wei". But this rich tradition has not, until now, been fully appreciated in the West where scholars have focused their attention on sculpture, downplaying art more highly prized by the Chinese themselves. This work takes into account all the arts practised in China, and, drawing on recent innovative scholarship, Craig Clunas examines the production and consumption of art in its appropriate contexts. He deals with art found in tombs, patronised by rulers, displayed in temples, created by the upper classes, and bought and sold in the marketplace. Full coverage is given of the 20th century including the state-controlled art of the Mao Zedong era and the art of the 80s and 90s driven by the international art markets.