Catalogue from the exhibition held at: National Gallery of Art, Washington 19 September 1999 - 2 January 2000; The Museum of Fine Art, Houston 13 February - 7 May 2000; Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, 17 June - 11 September 2000.
In the last fifty years, archaeological discoveries have altered traditional beliefs on the formation and development of the civilization of ancient China. This book and the exhibition that it accompanies cover the period from 5000 BCE to the 10th century C.E. presenting more than 170 masterpieces in jade, stone, ivory, bone, pottery, bronze, lacquer, bamboo, gold, and silver. Together these astonishing objects demonstrate that highly advanced artistic cultures originated in and flowered throughout a vast area. Earlier generations of scholars believed that a much smaller area, the Yellow River Valley, was the principal source and focus of Chinese civilization. The objects represent more than twenty cultures and are remarkably well preserved. From the Neolithic period are finely carved jade and stone works, and painted pottery. The Early Bronze Age cultures in both north and south are represented by finds from Xiautun. Sanxingdui, and Xin'gan. From Chu and other states that flourished at the point of conversion of the Bronze and Iron Ages are silk, lacquer, jade, and ritual bronzes. The imperial Age produced such astonishing works as the Qin terra-cotta army from Lintong, jade burial suits, Buddhist sculpture from Qiangzhou, and gold and silver from the Famen monastery. Each splendid object is catalogued by leading experts in Chinese art and archaeology, and all are reproduced in full colour.
Published by Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 1999
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