Chinese Sculpture: A Great Tradition
Archaeological discoveries over the last fifty years have revolutionised knowledge about Chinese sculpture, revealing the length and strength of a hitherto unsuspected tradition stretching back to prehistoric times. This tradition was concerned with the powers of statuary. Unwritten, it was based on beliefs shared by all classes on the nature of the cosmos, the importance of maintaining contact with ancestors and the idea that images contain power to influence events in the seen and unseen worlds. With many previously unpublished photographs, the book traces the history of Chinese sculpture throughout the imperial period. By outlining the principles which underlie all forms of statuary, regardless of size and material, the text aims to elucidate the extent to which sculpture in China has been adapted to serve the political, practical and spiritual needs of its rulers through 2,000 years. Sculptures were a vital part of palace, tomb, temple or other complexes intended to further harmony between worldly society and the cosmos.
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