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Article

T. I. Zeymal’

Buddhist monastery of the 7th century ad to first half of the 8th, in the valley of the Vakhsh River, 12 km east of Kurgan-Tyube, southern Tajikistan. During this early medieval period it belonged to Vakhsh (U-sha in Chinese sources), one of the 27 domains of Tokharistan. Excavations between 1960 and 1975 by the Academy of Sciences, Tajikistan, and the Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg, exposed the entire site; most of the finds are on loan to the Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg. The buildings, which covered an area of 100×50 m, were constructed of mud-bricks (c. 490×250×110 mm) and rammed earth, with walls surviving to a height of 5.5 to 6.0 m. The site comprised two square complexes linked by an enfilade of three rooms (see fig. (a)). The south-eastern complex or monastery (b) had domed cells (c) for monks, a hall or refectory (d), service quarters, store-rooms and a small sanctuary (e). An open courtyard in the centre had a fired brick path across it, linking the enfilade to the sanctuary. A corridor around the perimeter of the courtyard was divided into four right-angled sections by a deep iwan, or vestibule, in the middle of each side. One of these vestibules led into the sanctuary, the second into the meeting-hall, the third into the enfilade and the fourth to the monastery exit (j) and also on to a vaulted ramp (k) that originally gave access to the roof and the now lost second storey....

Article

Aimi  

Japanese, 9th – 10th century, male.

Active in Kyoto 9th-10th century.

Painter. Religious subjects.

Aimi was the son and pupil of Kose no Kanaoka, the founder of the Kose school, and a member of the imperial bureau of painting. Like his father he painted mainly Buddhist subjects as well as imaginary scenes....

Article

Korean, 6th century, male.

Active in Japan from 597.

Painter.

Prince Asa was the son of the King of Paekche (Kudara in Japanese) and went to Japan in 597 during the reign of Empress Suiko. A portrait in Chinese style was formerly attributed to him. It represents Prince Shotoku (who lived from 573 to 622) and his two sons (Princes Eguri and Yamashiro). The source of the attribution is the biography of Prince Shokotu compiled by the monk Kenshin of the Horyu temple. However, the figures portrayed in the painting show similarities with the Chommmoryujo byobu (Screen with Beauty beneath a Tree) in the Shoso-in, Nara, and the murals in the tomb of the Tang Crown Prince Yide (706). The portrait of Prince Shokotu in fact dates from the 8th century and its attribution to Prince Asa is simply legend. The painting was in the Horyuji Yamato temple and belongs to the Imperial Family....

Article

Astana  

Henrik H. Sørensen

Site of an ancient cemetery for Khocho, 40 km south-east of Turfan in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, China. The burial ground, which contains over 400 tombs, covers a large area and is divided into three sections: a north-western group with the earliest graves, a north-eastern group consisting of later, commoners’ graves, and a later northern group intended for the nobility. A wooden document found at the site indicates that it was in use before ad 273. From other unearthed written evidence it is thought that Astana ceased to be used in the late 8th century. It appears that most of those buried here were Chinese.

Many tombs contained a couple, or in some cases a man and several wives. A few single burials have also been found. In several cases the exact dating of a tomb is possible owing to memorial inscriptions on clay slates placed next to the bodies. The early tombs were made by digging a vertical entry shaft into the ground with chambers on the sides, while the later tombs have an access ramp sloping down to the burial chamber, sometimes with side rooms and antechambers. The tombs made for the nobility are usually decorated with wall paintings depicting such motifs as birds and flowers, stylized landscapes and figures; many are in the style of the early Tang period (...

Article

Bonnie Abiko

Period in early Japanese history (see Japan, §I, 2). It is variously defined and dated, depending on the criteria under consideration, but conventional dates are from ad 552 (traditionally the year of the introduction of Buddhism into Japan) to 710, when the imperial capital was moved to Nara. In some contexts, for example ceramics or tomb-building, this century and a half is usually considered part of the Kofun period, while in others it is either termed Asuka (as in discussion of some forms of religious and secular architecture) or subdivided (as for large-scale sculpture) into the Asuka (552–645) and Hakuhō (645–710) periods (the last is also referred to as ‘Early Nara’).

The most far-reaching development in Japan during this period was the formal introduction of Buddhism. When, in 552, the king of Paekche in Korea (Jap. Kudara) presented Emperor Kinmei (reg 531 or 539–71) in Japan with a bronze image of the Buddha, some canopies, banners and copies of Buddhist ...

Article

M. Yaldiz

[Bazaklik]

Site in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of China, 56 km north-east of Turfan. It is the site of the most outstanding complex of Buddhist cave temples in Khocho and is located in the steep side of an extensive terrace above the Murtuk River. At one time access to the caves was via free-standing timber buildings or terraces constructed in front of them, but by the time the caves were discovered by Albert von Le Coq at the beginning of the 20th century these were largely in ruins. In type the caves conform to those in the Kucha region (see Kizil; see also Central Asia, §II, 2).

The cave temples contained sculptures made of unfired clay, but it was mainly the wall paintings (removed by von Le Coq for safekeeping, few survive; see below) that in their unsurpassable diversity provided evidence of a flourishing Buddhist community. The most impressive were the paintings depicting consecration of a ...

Article

Chinese, 8th – 9th century, male.

Active at the court of Chang’anc.785-802.

Painter.

Bian Luan was a painter of the Tang dynasty and the most important bird painter of his generation. All that remains of his work is one signed album leaf, Dove on a Branch...

Article

Bizen  

Richard L. Wilson

Japanese centre of ceramics production. High-fired ceramic wares were manufactured from the end of the 12th century in and around the village of Inbe, Bizen Province (now Okayama Prefect.). This region had been a centre for manufacturing Sue-style stonewares and Haji-style earthenwares from the 6th century ad (see Japan, §IX, 2, (ii), (a)). At the end of the Heian period (794–1185) the potters moved from the old Sue-ware sites around Osafune village to Inbe, just to the north. In response to increased agricultural development, the new kilns manufactured kitchen mortars (suribachi), narrow-necked jars (tsubo) and wide-necked jars (kame). During the 13th century the wares show less of the grey-black surfaces typical of the old Sue tradition and more of the purple-reddish colour characteristic of Bizen. In the 14th century Bizen-ware production sites shifted from the higher slopes to the foot of the mountains. Kilns expanded in capacity, ranging up to 40 m in length. Vast quantities of Bizen wares, particularly kitchen mortars, were exported via the Inland Sea to Kyushu, Shikoku and numerous points in western Honshu, establishing Bizen as the pre-eminent ceramics centre in western Japan. By the 15th century the Bizen repertory had expanded to include agricultural wares in graded sizes; wares then featured combed decoration and such functional additions as lugs and pouring spouts. Plastic–forming was assisted by the introduction of a fusible clay found 2–4 m under paddy-fields. This clay, which fires to an almost metallic hardness, is still in use today....

Article

Donald F. McCallum

[Kuratsukuri no Tori; Shiba Kuratsukuribe no Obito Tori]

(fl early 7th century).

Japanese sculptor. He is associated with the inception of Buddhist image production in Japan and is generally considered to be the first great master of Japanese Buddhist sculpture (see also Japan §V 3., (i)). Tori Busshi is believed to have worked on the most important monumental sculpture of the Asuka period (c. 552–710), the bronze Great Buddha (Jap. Daibutsu) enshrined in the Asukadera (Japan’s first fully fledged temple complex, on the Yamato Plain c. 25 km from Nara). In addition, his name is inscribed on the mandorla of the gilt-bronze Shaka Triad of the Golden Hall (Kondō) at Hōryūji in Nara (623). He may, however, have operated primarily as a supervisor rather than a craftsman. Scholars usually associate most Asuka period images with his studio, which produced work modelled on the stone sculpture of Chinese Buddhist cave temples of the Northern Wei period (386–535). This is termed ...

Article

Yi Sŏng-mi

[cha Haech’ŏn; ho Koun]

(b Kyŏngju, North Kyŏngsang Province, 857; d 915).

Korean calligrapher. He is considered to be one of the two most prominent calligraphers of the Unified Silla period (668–918), the other being Kim Saeng. Ch’oe was also a famous statesman, Confucian scholar and man of letters. In 868, at the age of 12, he travelled to China, and in 874 he passed the Chinese civil service examination for foreign scholars. In 885 Ch’oe returned to Korea and served in various official capacities.

Several examples of his calligraphy survive in the form of stelae, the most famous of which is the Chin’gam sŏnsa taegong t’appi (887), a stele dedicated to the Sŏn Buddhist master Chin’gam and now in the Ssanggye-sa Temple, Hadong, South Kyŏngsang Province. The title in seal script and the main text in regular script show his calligraphy at its best. In character composition Ch’oe seems to have modelled his calligraphy loosely on the style of the Chinese master Ouyang Tong (...

Article

Bent L. Pedersen

[ Chao Ch’ang ; zi Changzhi]

(b Guanghan, Sichuan Province, c. ad 960; d after 1016).

Chinese painter . He was a painter of birds, flowers and insects, following the style of Teng Changyou ( fl ad 907–20). Although paintings attributed to him are not genuine, they provide an indication of his style. These works can be divided into two groups: one of relatively small paintings of flowers and another of larger pictures, with birds, insects, trees, rocks and flowers.

Zhao is known to have studied his subjects thoroughly before painting them. The flowers he depicted tended to be the cultivated varieties he saw in the gardens of contemporary Sichuan Province or in the capital, Bianliang (now Kaifeng, in Henan). Although the flowers possess many realistic features, they are sometimes painted in a formal way, producing a decorative effect. Zhao was famous for rendering flowers in such a way that the thickness of the ink and colour pigment could be clearly seen. This is evident in the fan painting ...

Article

Carol Michaelson

[Ch’en]

Chinese dynasty that ruled in southern China between ad 557 and 589. It was the last of the so-called Six Dynasties (222–589), who were the ‘legitimate’ successors to the Han dynasty (206 bcad 220) and made Jiankang (now Nanjing) their capital.

In 557 Chen Baxian (later Emperor Wudi; reg 557–9) deposed the Liang (502–57) emperor and established the Chen dynasty. The government attempted to resuscitate the economy but the area under its rule was the smallest of the southern dynasties, with fewer territories than its predecessors and a northern border reaching only to the southern bank of the Yangzi River. The Chen government was strong enough initially to resist incursions by the Northern Qi (550–77) and Northern Zhou (557–81) but was not in a position to take advantage of the divisions in the north.

Jiankang continued to be a cultural and political centre to which merchants and Buddhist missionaries came from South-east Asia and India, and it became one of the world’s greatest cities. The capital was also a major Buddhist centre; several Buddhist temples, many of them caves or niches, had been constructed in the preceding Liang period. To the north-east of the city lay an imperial burial ground, notable for its carved tomb guardians in the form of chimeras (...

Article

Chinese, 8th century, male.

Born in Kuaiji (Zhejiang).

Painter.

Chen Hong was introduced into the Tang court during the Kaiyuan period (713-742). He is known to have painted portraits of the emperors Xuanzong (713-756) and Suzong (756-762) and illustrations of imperial hunting parties.

Kansas City (Nelson-Atkins MA): ...

Article

Joan Stanley-Baker

[Li Ch’eng; zi Xianxi; hao Yingqiu]

(b ad 919; d 967).

Chinese painter. His ancestors, members of the imperial clan, were natives of Chang’an (now Xi’an, Shaanxi Province), the Tang-dynasty (ad 618–907) capital. During disturbances at the end of the 9th century the clan split into two branches. Li’s grandfather, who settled in Qingzhou (now Shandong), and his father both held official posts. From 956 to 958 Li was in government service in Bianliang (now Kaifeng), at the invitation of his friend Wang Pu, then Commissioner of Military Affairs for Emperor Shizong (reg 944–54). Li came to know many important scholar–officials, but, despondent after the death of Wang, took to poetry, music, painting and drink. His paintings became sought after, but he remained at first socially aloof. Later he became a habitual wanderer, until, some time after 964, he accepted an invitation to live in Huaiyang (Henan Province), where he died of overindulgence in wine.

Li Cheng exemplifies the Chinese phenomenon of a profoundly admired artist whose true style was, within a century of his death, obscured by unreliable attributions, the relationships of which to the original can no longer be determined. His fame was established early in the Northern Song period (...

Article

Chongye  

Henrik H. Sørensen

[’phyongs rgyas; Qonggyai]

Site at the north-eastern end of the Chongye Valley south of the town of Tsetang (Zêtang) on the southern bank of the Tsangpo River (Yarlung Zangbo) in south-east Tibet. It is the setting for the royal tombs of the Yarlung dynasty (mid-7th century adc. 9th century).

Estimates of the number of tombs vary between ten and thirteen. Buried on this site were Songtsen Gampo (reg c. 620–49), Mangsong Mangtsen (reg 649–76), Tride Tsugten (reg 704–55), Trisong Detsen (reg 755–c. 794), Mune Tsenpo (reg 797–800), Tride Songtsen (reg c. 800–15), Ralpachen (reg 815–36), Langdarma (reg 836–42), Ö Sung (843–905), Lhe bön (d 739) and Chögyi Gyalpo. Trisong Detsen’s tomb lies away from the other tumuli behind a low ridge to the north. The tombs consist of massive mounds of earth. Songtsen Gampo’s and Mangsong Mangtsen’s are huge: the former, which dominates the site, rises to a height of more than 15 m and has rectangular sides measuring 250×70 m. The other tumuli are considerably smaller, although Ralpachen’s tomb is also on an impressive scale. None of the tombs has been fully excavated, but a reconstruction of ...

Article

Chinese, 8th century, male.

Painter. Animals.

Dai Song was a provincial official during the period when the painter Han Huang (723-787) was governor of the province of Zhejiang. He became his disciple. He is known for his buffaloes.

Berlin: Two Buffaloes near Wind-Blown Copse (...

Article

Dai Yi  

Chinese, 8th century, male.

Painter.

Dai Yi was the younger brother of the painter Dai Song. He was also known for his buffaloes.

Article

M. Yaldiz

[Dandan-uilik; Dandan-uiliq]

Site on the eastern edge of the oasis of Khotan, on the southern Silk Route, in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, China. The site, which was investigated by Aurel Stein in 1900–01, contained the ruins of six dwellings and eleven places of worship, probably built between the 7th and 9th centuries ad. Finds include two manuscripts (both London, BM)—a canonical text of Mahayana Buddhism, the Prajñāparamitā (Skt: ‘Perfection of wisdom’), in an East Iranian language, and a Vajracchedikā (‘diamond-knife’; sharp as a diamond) version in Sanskrit—as well as wall paintings and small wooden painted panels (?8th century; London, BM) with various motifs. One of the latter shows two riders, one above the other surrounded by a halo, the one above on a horse, the one below on a camel; each holds a dish in his right hand (Yaldiz, pl. 117). On another small wooden panel are two figures facing each other, surrounded by almond-shaped haloes: on the left a fan-bearer, on the right a figure with an animal-like head (Yaldiz, pl. 118). Stein believed this to be an illustration of the rat legend recorded by the Chinese pilgrim ...

Article

Joan Stanley-Baker

[ Hsü Tao-ning ]

(b Chang’an [modern Xi’an], Shaanxi Province, c. ad 970; d c. 1052).

Chinese painter . Originally a vendor of medicinal herbs, he initially painted landscapes to attract potential customers. After attaining fame, he ‘frequented the manorial homes of princelings and officials’, for whom he painted murals, hanging scrolls and handscrolls. He was a familiar guest of the rich and powerful in both Chang’an and the capital, Bianliang (modern Kaifeng), in Henan Province. Famous clients included Huang Tingjian’s father, Huang Shu (1018–58). Huang Tingjian later eulogized one of Xu’s paintings:

I met Drunken Xu in Chang’an …

Quite tipsy, he would wield a worn brush dripping with ink,

With the force of an avalanche, his hand never stopping.

In a few feet, mountains and rivers would stretch over ten thousand miles,

And fill the hall with a bleak and chilly air.

A rustic monk returns to his temple, followed by the boy.

A fisherman is hailed by the traveller waiting to ford the stream....

Article

Joan Stanley-Baker

[ Wu Daoxuan, Wu Tao-hsüan ; Wu Tao-tzu ]

(b Yangzhe [modern Yu xian, Henan Province]; fl c. ad 710–60).

Chinese painter . Later known as Wu Daoxuan, he is a legendary figure said to have depicted human beings, landscapes, architecture, Buddhist deities, demons, birds and animals. Reportedly, he derived his inspiration from wine and had a mercurial, responsive brushstyle, producing breathtaking vistas of natural scenery and figures across vast areas of temple wall.

Hearing of his extraordinary talents, the Emperor Xuanzong (Minghuang; reg 712–56) summoned Wu to his palace at Chang’an (modern Xi’an). Between 742 and 755 the emperor dispatched Wu to the Jialing River in Sichuan Province to paint the scenery. On his return, Wu stated, ‘I have made no draft, but have committed all to memory.’ He proceeded to paint the walls of the hall known as the Datong dian with 300 or more li (c. 150 km) of Jialing River scenery in a single day. Five dragons in the Inner Hall, painted by Wu on another occasion, supposedly had scales so lifelike that each time it was about to rain, they emitted misty vapours (the dragon symbolized imperial power over rain and irrigation). Contemporary accounts report that Wu covered 300–400 wall surfaces in Buddhist and Daoist temples in the two Tang-dynasty (...