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  • Cited by 2
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    This chapter has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Shi, Jie 2015. The hidden level in space and time: the vertical shaft in the royal tombs of the zhongshan kingdom in late eastern zhou (475–221 bce) china. Material Religion, Vol. 11, Issue. 1, p. 76.

    Beckman, Joy Elizabeth 2013. The meaning of material: ritual vessel assemblages in Chu burials of the fourth and third centuries BC, China. Antiquity, Vol. 87, Issue. 337, p. 772.

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  • Print publication year: 1999
  • Online publication date: March 2008

10 - The Art and Architecture of the Warring States Period

Summary

The Warring States period was an era of magnificent artistic creation and renewal in Chinese history. By the end of the Spring and Autumn period, changes within traditional ritual art and architecture had reached a critical point. Many new artistic and architectural forms, styles, and genres appeared during the following centuries and redefined the whole visual vista. In architecture, the city was reshaped and its internal structure reconfigured. Tall platforms and terrace pavilions won great favor from political patrons, replacing the deep, enclosed compound of a traditional temple or palace to determine the center of a city or palace town. With their monumental appearance and dazzling ornamentation, these architectural forms supplied powerful visual symbols much needed by the new elite. In art also, the reaction against ritual bronzes – the dominant artistic genre during the Shang and Western Zhou – continued. Although vessels and other equipment made for ceremonial usage never disappeared, the ritual occasions that they served had gone through fundamental transformations, becoming increasingly mundane. The commemorative inscription declined further. Ornate interlacing patterns or depictions of human events transformed a bronze vessel into a carrier of geometric decoration or pictorial representation. Monochrome vessels had gone out of fashion; lacquers and inlaid objects, both reflecting a fascination with fluent imagery and coloristic effects, enjoyed great popularity. Beautifully decorated mirrors, belt hooks, and other types of personal belongings became major showpieces. Lamps, screens, tables, and other objects of daily use were created as serious works of art; combining expensive materials, exquisite work manship, and exotic images, these objects best documented the desire for material possession and the taste for extravagance.

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The Cambridge History of Ancient China
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  • Book DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521470308
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