Chinese Symbolism and Art Motifs: A Comprehensive Handbook on Symbolism in Chinese Art Through the Ages

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Tuttle Publishing, Apr 15, 2006 - Architecture - 448 pages
This fourth revised edition of Chinese Symbolism and Art Motifs, first published in Shanghai in 1941, features an introduction by Dr. Terence Barrow, has been completely reset and now uses the Pinyin pronunciation of Chinese names and words.

The Eight Immortals, the five elements, the dragon and the phoenix, yin and yang—representations of these important cultural symbols are pervasive in Chinese literature, art and architecture. Without an understanding of their significance, much Chinese history, folklore and culture can't be fully appreciated. In this comprehensive handbook, C.A.S. Williams offers concise explanations—and over 400 illustrations—of these essential symbols and motifs. Arranged alphabetically for easy access, the book not only explains essential cultural symbols, accompanied by their Chinese characters, but also contains many articles on Chinese beliefs, customs, arts and crafts, food, agriculture, and medicine. This book has become a standard reference volume for students of China and Chinese culture.

For those who are visiting China, Chinese Symbolism and Art Motifs is an indispensable guide to the Middle Kingdom's artistic and architectural wonders. For the general reader, it is a valuable compendium of fascinating sinological lore.

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About the author (2006)

Charles Alfred Speed Williams was a distinguished British scholar who spent most of his active life in China. He served as Acting Commissioner in Charge of Maritime Customs in Peking, Examiner in Mandarin for Hong Kong University and Lecturer at Chiaotung University.

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