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Article

Ken Brown and Karen L. Brock

Shogunal dynasty that ruled Japan during the Muromachi period (1333–1568). According to the anonymous Taiheiki (‘Chronicle of great peace’; ?1370–71), Ashikaga, the name of a town in Shimotsuke Province (now Tochigi Prefect.), was taken as a family name by a branch of the military Minamoto family. The Ashikaga came to power when the first Ashikaga shogun, Takauji (1305–58), overthrew the Hōjō regents in Kamakura and installed the ambitious Emperor GoDaigo (reg 1318–39) in Kyoto. When GoDaigo refused to name Takauji as shogun, the latter deposed him and replaced him by his own candidate. GoDaigo fled to Yoshino (Nara Prefect.), where he set up a rival court. The schism continued during the early Muromachi period, which is also known as the Nanbokuchō (‘Northern and Southern Courts’; 1336–92) period. Takauji and his son, the second shogun Ashikaga Yoshiakira (1330–67), paid respect to the old aristocracy in Kyoto, but the third shogun, ...

Article

Junghee Lee

[Yi]

Korean dynasty that ruled the Korean peninsula from 1392 to 1910. The founder of the dynasty, Yi Sŏng-gye, posthumously known as King T’aejo (reg 1392–8), established Neo-Confucianism as the official ideology, encouraging a modest and practical lifestyle. Thus the patronage of extravagant art was discouraged, and the status of the artist was reduced. Buddhism was often zealously suppressed but remained the private religion of the palace women, the common people and even some kings. T’aejo, for example, built Sŏgwang Temple in north-eastern Korea, the area of his origin; King Sejo (reg 1455–68) built the marble pagoda of the Wŏngak Temple in Seoul in 1466; and the Dowager Queen Munjŏng patronized painters (see Korea, §IV, 2, (i), (d)) and supported temple constructions during the reign of King Myŏngjong (reg 1545–67).

With the establishment of the capital at Hanyang (now Seoul), T’aejo built the Kyŏngbok and Ch’angdŏk palaces and city walls in ...

Article

Elizabeth F. Bennett

[K’o Chiu-ssu; zi Jingzhong, hao Zhouqiu Sheng]

(b Tiantai, Zhejiang Province, 1290; d Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, 1343). Chinese calligrapher, painter, connoisseur and collector. He was appointed connoisseur to the imperial art collection housed at the newly constructed Kuizhang Pavilion in Beijing in 1330, by the Yuan emperor Wenzong (reg 1330–32). He was given the title of Master Connoisseur of Calligraphy, and was responsible for the verification of all the painting and calligraphy that entered the collection. After the death of Wenzong in 1332, Ke retired to Suzhou, where he spent the rest of his life.

Ke owned a large collection of painting and calligraphy and was often asked to authenticate works and write inscriptions. His calligraphy appears on paintings such as Lowland with Trees (handscroll, ink on paper, n.d.; New York, John M. Crawford jr priv. col.) attributed to Guo Xi, Early Autumn (handscroll, ink and colour on paper, 267×1020 mm, n.d.; Detroit, MI, Inst. A.) by ...

Article

Junghee Lee

Korean dynasty that ruled from ad 918 to 1392. The Koryŏ kings were lavish in their patronage of Buddhist art of the major groups such as Sŏn and Kyo (see Buddhism §III 9.). Wang kŏn, posthumously known as King T’aejo (reg ad 918–43), founder of the dynasty, made Buddhism central to his rule and commissioned the building of the royal palace (see Korea, §II, 3, (iii), (a)) at Songak (now Kaesŏng), Kyŏnggi Province; which he had made the capital in 919. King T’aejo also established Buddhist temples in and around the capital and built a number of temples in the provinces as did the kings who succeeded him. Under his rule numerous annual Buddhist ceremonies were established to honour the Buddha and thus protect the country from foreign invasions; these ceremonies were performed until the end of the Koryŏ period.

The Koryŏ kings commissioned professional painters of the Tohwawŏn (Academy of Painting) (...

Article

Carol Michaelson

Chinese dynasty dating to 1368–1644, founded by a Chinese peasant–monk, Zhu Yuanzhang, who became the Hongwu emperor (reg 1368–98). The first Ming capital was at Nanjing. In 1421 the Yongle emperor (reg 1403–24) established a northern capital at Beijing, which by 1421 had become the official capital.

The early Ming period was prosperous and experienced a renewal of Chinese culture and national consciousness, which under the Mongol Yuan dynasty (1279–1368) had been submerged. Ming emperors promoted such works as the Yongle dadian (1408), an encyclopedic compendium of Chinese learning. The early period was marked by great building projects, including the Forbidden City and the rebuilding of the Great Wall in north China, military expansion and maritime expeditions.

Under the Xuande emperor (reg 1426–35) a regular system of court patronage of the arts developed. Painters tended to divide into three groups: court artists included ...

Article

Carol Michaelson

Chinese dynasty founded by the Mongols, dating from 1279 to 1368. After the division of the Southern Song period (1127–1279), Kublai Khan (reg 1260–94) reunited all of China under Mongol rule, incorporating it in a huge empire that extended westwards as far as modern Hungary and Poland. The Mongols were not great patrons of the arts, although they admired craftsmen. Nevertheless, by reuniting China, thus bringing together the differing traditions of north and south, and by not imposing stylistic demands, they allowed artists to use and develop a variety of influences. Indeed, there were significant innovations in both painting and the applied arts of porcelain and lacquer. The Silk Route was reopened, and European interest in China, both diplomatic and missionary, developed. Franciscans and other Europeans, arriving for the first time, reported on what they had seen. The Venetian merchant Marco Polo allegedly spent the years 1275–92...