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Arthur Pontynen and Julia K. Murray

Set of beliefs, morals and social values based on the teachings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius (Chin. Kongzi; c. 551–479 bc). Although the following article relates solely to the influence of Confucian thought on art in China, Confucianism and its various subsequent revivals also had a great influence on developments elsewhere in East and South-east Asia (see Japan, §II, 5; Korea, §I, 4; and Vietnam, Socialist Republic of, §I, 3).

Arthur Pontynen

Confucius was a native of Qufu (modern Shandong Province), the capital of the state of Lu at the time of the Eastern Zhou dynasty (771–256 bc). Tradition relates that he did not hold any official post until he was 56; even then he wandered between the minor states, arousing controversy with his ideas, until he realized that his true aptitude lay in teaching and philosophy. The Lunyu (‘Analects’), compiled by his pupils some decades after his death, is the most reliable source for his doctrines. Its primary concern is good society based on good government and harmonious human relations, obtained not by coercion or oppression but by virtue and moral example....


Tapati Guha-Thakurta

(b Colombo, Aug 22, 1877; d Needham, MA, Sept 9, 1947).

Anglo-Sinhalese writer and curator, active also in India and the USA. More than those of any other scholar of Indian art, culture and aesthetics, Coomaraswamy’s vision and views have dominated and moulded the current understanding of Indian art. He began his career at the start of the 20th century as a champion of an aesthetic revaluation of Indian art. His powerful defence of Indian art and Eastern aesthetics was motivated, on the one hand, by a cultural nationalism that resented the intrusion of British colonial rule in India and Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) and, on the other hand, by a utopian ideal of a medieval village civilization that rejected the materialism of the modern, industrial West. This ideal of an alternative socio-cultural order, discovered in traditional Sri Lanka and India, generated in time a more specific quest for an alternative aesthetic of Indian art. From the active mission of the cultural regeneration of Asia, Coomaraswamy retreated, with age, into the more aloof world of iconography, Eastern religions and metaphysics....


Anand Krishna

(b Banaras [now Varanasi], Nov 7, 1892; d 1980).

Indian collector and writer. He is best known for his monumental collection of Indian art at the Bharat Kala Bhavan in Varanasi. Every piece reflects his highly developed sense of aesthetics, discriminating taste and in-born connoisseurship. The collection spans a very wide range of Indian art and (mainly Hindi literary) documents, local culture etc. Rai Krishnadasa’s early career was as a Hindi author, but he motivated Moti Chandra, Anand Krishna, N. C. Mehta and others in the study of Indian painting and introduced many of them to Indian art in general. Such art historians as William George Archer and Mildred Archer (see Archer family §(1)) took up laconic statements made in Bharat Ki Chitrakala. Later scholars, such as Stuart Cary Welch, Robert Skelton, Milo C. Beach and Wladimir Zwalf, drew inspiration from him. Rai Krishnadasa was the first to establish that Hamza cloth painting originated under Akbar (...


Bruce A. Coats

(b Mino Prov. [now part of Gifu Prefect.], 1544; d Osaka, 1615).

Japanese samurai and master of the tea ceremony. He strongly influenced the development of tea aesthetics in the late 16th century and early 17th (see Japan, §XV, 1). He was reportedly born into the Kuwahara family and then adopted by Yoshida Shigesada (d 1598). He became known as Oribe after his appointment as a military official, Oribe no Kami, of Mino Province in 1585, at which time he became commander of Nishigaoka Castle at Yamashiro, near Kyoto. Oribe distinguished himself in the service of the military dictators Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi and through them met Sen no Rikyū, the foremost practitioner of the wabicha tea ceremony, which was based on the concept of wabi (‘simple, austere natural beauty’). By 1590 Oribe was one of Rikyū’s most promising disciples, and the two exchanged poetry and attended tea ceremonies together. Remarkably, Rikyū chose Oribe as his successor in preference to his own sons; similarly, when Rikyū died in ...


David Mannings

(b Plympton, Devon, July 16, 1723; d London, Feb 23, 1792).

English painter, collector and writer. The foremost portrait painter in England in the 18th century, he transformed early Georgian portraiture by greatly enlarging its range. His poses, frequently based on the Old Masters or antique sculpture, were intended to invoke classical values and to enhance the dignity of his sitters. His rich colour, strong lighting and free handling of paint greatly influenced the generation of Thomas Lawrence and Henry Raeburn. His history and fancy pictures explored dramatic and emotional themes that became increasingly popular with both artists and collectors in the Romantic period. As first president of the Royal Academy in London, he did more than anyone to raise the status of art and artists in Britain. His Discourses on Art, delivered to the students and members of the Academy between 1769 and 1790, are the most eloquent and widely respected body of art criticism by any English writer.

Although Reynolds’s father, a fellow of Balliol College, Oxford, and master of Plympton Grammar School, had intended that his son train as an apothecary, Joshua chose instead to seek fame as a painter. In ...