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Timelines of World Art: Asia & South East Asia

c. 1605

The accomplished artist Manohar paints Emperor Jahangir Receiving his Two Sons, combining precise miniaturist painting techniques, astute observation and rich colours to create scenes that dazzle the eye and enhance the prestige of the Mughal court. Read more...

1617

Painter, calligrapher and theorist Dong Qichang develops a new painting style as seen in such works as Qingbian Mountains. Dong draws on brushstroke techniques and compositional formulas of past masters, but alters their emphasis to focus on geometric forms and the graphic effects of brushwork. Read more...

c. 1618

Painter to the Mughal court Balchand sketches a simple and sparse portrait of the dying official `Inayat Khan. This image of the weak and emaciated man is deeply moving and disturbing. Read more...

c. 1620

Accomplished calligrapher, landscape designer and potter, Hon'ami Koetsu produces one of his most famous teabowls, decorated with half-black, half-white glaze representing Mt Fuji. Koetsu's raku-ware bowls are esteemed for their vigor and naturalism. Read more...

1631–1648

Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan mourns the death of his beloved wife Arjumand Banu Begum by building the Taj Mahal in Agra to serve as her tomb. Read more...

1641

While the practice of decorating textiles with a resist-dyeing technique called batik is known in many countries, the method is most closely associated with the island of Java in Indonesia. Although produced for centuries, the first historical use of this word occurs in records from a European ship. Read more...

1645

The Potala Palace in Lhasa is rebuilt in order to serve as the Dalai Lama's winter palace and the seat of religious and political functions. Read more...

1689

The eccentric painter, calligrapher and poet Zhu Da, also known as Bada Shanren, paints Moon and Melon. Frequently couched in Buddhist, political or poetical references and elusive meanings, Zhu Da's simplistic yet highly expressionistic compositions contain messages that are difficult to comprehend. Read more...

c. 1701

Ogata Korin, the versatile artist who worked in paint, ceramics and textiles, decorates several folding screens with vibrant images of irises against a glittering background of gold leaf. His compositions are very decorative and patterned, although their theme ultimately derives from classical Japanese literature. Read more...

1714–1766

Giuseppe Castiglione (also known as Lang Shining), an Italian painter, architect and Jesuit lay brother, travels to China as a missionary, and subsequently becomes court painter for three emperors during the Qing dynasty. Castiglione is the only Western artist to be included in the Chinese imperial collections. Read more...

1734

Panoramic View of the Diamond Mountains by Chong Son uses refined Chinese painting techniques to represent one of the peninsula's most beloved natural settings and thereby brings the Korean landscape painting tradition to maturity. Read more...

1745–c. 1814

Kim Hong-do, one of the most talented painters in the Korean Choson court's Bureau of Painting, depicts scenes from daily life with great humour, careful observation and skilful brushwork as part of a movement of increasing interest in native imagery during the late 18th century and early 19th. Read more...

c. 1760

Painters in the principality of Guler, in northern India, develop a distinctive version of the Pahari painting style, visible in such works as Lady with Hawk, that merge the bright Pahari palette with Mughal naturalism. Read more...

c. 1812

Persian painter Mihr 'Ali creates the best of his series of full-length oil paintings of Qajar ruler Fath 'Ali Shah, showing the monarch in a gold brocade costume and large crown. Read more...

c. 1829–1833

Katsushika Hokusai produces the series of woodblock-print landscape images known as the Fugaku sanjurokkei ('Thirty-six views of Mt Fuji'). Taking the sacred mountain as a focal point, Hokusai creates a series of imaginary scenes filled with colour, dynamism and emphasis on graphic patterns. Read more...

c. 1850

Ren Xiong paints a self-portrait of himself standing with his head shaven, his chest bared and his gaze stern and unwavering. This unconventional picture is ambiguous in meaning and intent and consolidates many trends and struggles experienced in China during this period of great change. Read more...

c. 1850

Lampung weavers of Sumatra make small cloth squares (tampan) with complex designs to trade ritually during important ceremonies. Read more...

1851

Soon after returning to Java, Raden Saleh paints The Storm, in which he employs the techniques and styles adopted during his many years travelling and studying in Europe to depict local imagery. His work represents the close connection between Europe and Indonesia in the 19th century. Read more...

1988

South Korean artist Nam June Paik's The More, The Better is representative of his work as one of the first artists to have comprehensively realized the potential of television and video as an artistic medium. Read more...

2001

Monumental rock-cut sculptures of Buddhas at Bamiyan in northern Afghanistan, dating from the 2nd century AD to the 5th, are destroyed by the Taliban. Read more...


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