Essay on The Rise and Fall of Ancient China

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Ancient China occupied an extensive and unsteady geopolitical outlook with the art that it came up with over three golden ages varying as expected. Despite the extended indigenous developments, advancements in the materials used and preferences and also the remote ideas influences, some of the fundamental qualities in the Chinese skills which allows us to define where or when and for what purpose the art was produced. These important qualities include ; belief in moral and educative capability of the art, love towards nature, adoration to simplicity, acknowledgement to proficient brushwork, interest in looking at the subject in varying perceptions and a fidelity to considerable-used patterns and strategies from lotus leaves to tarragons .the Chinese graphic arts will tremendously impact that of its acquaintance in East Asia and also global appreciations of its  excellent performances  as displayed mainly in ceramics, painting and the jade work which continues till to date.( "Ancient Therapeutic Arts")

            Comparing Chinese culture to other ancient cultures, one of the very important difference is that a great number OD of the Chinese artists was not educated but only gentleman’s armatures and a limited number of females who also happened to be researchers. Scholars of Kongfuze and its peaceful ideologies were mainly literature men who printed poems. Drawing to them and their audience was like means of grasping and presenting rational access to life which they for sure valued much. As a result of this reason, the art they fashioned was considered insignificant and less of pretense and also occasionally slight harsh to the western eyes. Through a bigger part of China's past art was used to depict the artist’s intense characters and not solely be a critique of his/ her concrete creative capabilities. To decorate their walls and the inner side of their well-structured tombs and buildings in general, the imperial court or rich patrons used to employ some professional artists to accomplish the mission. The actual arts of merit in the country were painting and calligraphy. Figuring out whether the current world we are living in Is being troubled by certain arrogance, then this great country  China must be the first to go down to this question and determine what was and what wasn't art.


            In China, the connoisseurship of art grew into greater lengths and this opened doors for various collectors of the arts. Due to this art now had to be standardized with one required to meet some strict conditions. Every artist was now required to study the great masters and copy their works during the training sessions.  Amongst the utmost renowned and foundations of intelligence on attainment a decision to any drawing is the 6-point list of the 6th century of the CE art opponent and Historian by the name Xie He.

            Owing to the fact that the art was supposed to benefit the viewer to certain extents, the rigid rules were highly appreciated and acknowledged.  This didn’t eradicate all the artists who went against the rules and performed their work in their imitable ways but helped to reduce them by a pretty higher percentage. There are some cases in the history of art in chin where some arts could paint onto a music without necessarily looking into the picture, some did their work best when drunk and used their caps instead of the brush, some would squelch liquid ink on to the silk spread onto the workplace flooring and hauled an assistant onto it whereas others would use their fingers or toes during painting. Fortunately, it’s very sad that most of this innovation did not survive long to be enjoyed by current generations in museums of Asiatic art. (Hearn and Fong)


            This was a kind of art by the ancient China artists which aimed at demonstrating the superior control and skills through the application of brush and ink. This type of art was established during Han Dynasty (206 BCE-220 CE), and even though two millennial have passed all educated males were anticipated to be thorough with it. Some females though were able to achieve this and became known calligraphers with the most noted being Lady Wei (272 CE-349 CE) who is supposed to have trained the great master Wang Xizhi (303 CE-361 CE).

            In additional to the mere writing, calligraphy art required a different thickness of brushstrokes, their drawing positions, and liquefied association with each other all correctly organized in hypothetical places on the page thus creating an artistic taste pretty whole. This led to the development of a connoisseurship and calligraphy was named amongst the top six conclusive and ancient arts in conjunction with archery, ritual, chartering, music and numbers. Calligraphy was so important to extents that it even seemed on different portraits to display and describe what the viewer was far sighting, show a title, place where the art was recorded and recipient of the art. 


            Chinese painters were capable of exercising their art on different resources in many setups. The best and very prevalent exhibitions  of paintings were on the walls from C  to 1100 BCE , casket and containers from C to 800 BCE, paintings on screen were from C. 100 CE, rolls of silk designed for looking in the hands or hanging on the barriers from  C.100 CE for the horizontal sort and  for the vertical category as from  C. 1100 CE, the book concealments  dated back  from C. 1100 CE  and lastly collapsible fans  from C-1450  CE.

            An example of existing paintings from the metropolitan museum includes a painting of Emperor Xuanzong's flight to Shu, the artist to it is still unidentified but was active in the mid-12th century, the period was Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279), the artist used droopy scroll, toner, pigment, and gold-plated on silk. And its accession number is 41.138.

A painting on Emperor Xuanzong’s flight to Shu

            The art described the short history in 745 after 33 years of the able rule when the Tang Emperor Xuanzong (r.712-56) made hit with a young lady by the name Yang Guifei and became very different to his known duties. When An Lushan, Yang’s favorite general rebelled in the year 755, the blame was on her. This forced her to escape from the capital at Xian to a safe place at Shu, this led to the confrontation of the emperor by mutinous troops demanding the execution of the lover. He reluctantly assented as he looked in horror and shame but abdicated thereafter.  The art shows the somber imperial after the execution.

A painting on Wang Xizhi watching geese

            This art was completed by Qian Xuan  (Chinese, ca. 1235-before 1307) during Yuan Dynasty which lasted from 1271-1368.the date the art was made was ca. 1295. The artist used hand scroll, ink, color, and gold on paper.

            The art described a short story after the tumble of Hangzhou which was the southern song capital I the year 1276, the sculptor Qian Xuan decided to live as a Yimin of the reign. His deliberate painting blue and green style vividly describes the story of Wang Xizhi (303-361), who was a handwriting principal of mythological celebrity and specialist of Daoist alchemy. He is said to initiate motivation from usual methods such as the great neckline movements by geese. The artist created an unreal recreation of ancient times and as a result, prevented a truthful understanding of his picture space. This was a way of demonstrating his feelings after the fall, of the melody imperial house.

Others include;


Buddha Maitreya                                                               portrait of a Lama, possibly Dromton.



            Large-scale sculptures never survived well but some monumental remains are still in existence e.g. the cuts from Longman caves rock faces, Feng Xian temple near Luoyang.   The feature dates back to 675 CE, its height is 17.4 meters high and was in commemorating the Buddhist Heavenly King and the Demon Guardians.   Others included the figures of Shi Haunt’s “Terracotta Army”. This comprised of over 7000 figures of warriors, chariots and 600 horses that were required to guard the tomb belonging to Qin emperor in the 3rd century.

Smaller scale works of the same include the Shang Dynasty (c.1600-1046 BCE) bronze works e.g. common three-legged cauldrons shapes made of bronze.


Shang Dynasty Bronze sun


            The Chinese municipal were controllers of pottery and porcelains making. They produced all things from weighty and well-functioning storing containers in the earth to extremely ornamented cutleries in the most delicate of porcelain, vases were made to be garden tools and pillows from teapots. The first glazer stuffs, green celadon and under graze wires all painted blue are a product of China.

            Tang potters rose and attained a technical proficiency level than any of their predecessors. They mixed colors to produce a three colored ware.  During Yuan (1271-1368 CE) and Ming (1368-1644 CE) era’s additional porcelains were fashioned with very distinguishing features and copied in blue in a white beautification.

Hong Shan Jade Dragon

Minor arts

            Chinese minor arts included jade and lacquer. Jade was very liked due to its rarity as it was very rare, durability, it was very pure and also was associated with immorality. Jade has mostly used in ritual objects i.e. bi disc and Zong tubes. Lacquer, on the other hand, is a liquid constituting of shellac and mastic and was used in coating objects made of timber and other materials in the Neolithic era. Also was applied in beautifying screens, cups, sculptures etc.


I do believe that many arts fits in a group reflecting the culture of that period time. This is what makes the history of arts so interesting. The example of china art work is of great importance in the idea of reflection, as much of what we know today about china is through interpreting the art work which was left behind.

                                                            Works Cited

"Ancient Therapeutic Arts." 2013.

Hearn, Maxwell, and Wen Fong. "The Arts of Ancient China." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, vol. 32, no. 2, 1973, p. 231.

August 01, 2023



History of China

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