In this work are a hundred examples of the pictorial art of Szechwan as represented in reliefs, both in stone and clay, dating from the Later Han Dynasty (A.D. 25-220).
This is new material, none of it having been published previously in the West in book form. The reliefs have been reproduced by rubbings or ink squeezes, which are made by covering the relief with thin, tough, dampened paper and then tamping it down into every depression with a dry brush. When the paper has properly dried, a pad dampened with Chinese ink is applied to it, thus reproducing in black everything that projects above the background. This method, used by the Chinese for centuries, gives a fullscale facsmile of the original relief. The introduction outlines the early archaeology of Szechwan Province in western China, describes the two types of stone cave tombs in witch the reliefs were found and reviews important recent finds that contribute to our knowledge of early Chinese art. Each plate is accompanied by a caption which gives the provenance , the size of the relief, and its location. There is also a detailed description of the pictorial representations and footnotes provide technical information. The one hundred reliefs in the book are reproduced by collotype. Other reliefs of this period have been found in northeastern China, but those reproduced here are from southwestern China and are of an entirely different character, in content as well as style. The execution of these reliefs often shows a more spirit and freedom than reliefs of this date found in other parts of China. The subjects of the reliefs show us how the people lived, how they carried on their daily affairs, and give other information relating to the material culture, beliefs, and folklore of those remote times. In short, this materials adds considerably to our knowledge, of Chinese art and life of the first and second centuries of this era.
Published by University of California Press Berkeley and Los Angeles, USA, 1951
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