Scattered throughout China, in remote mountain areas, rice fields, school yards and dusty plains, are thousands of monumental stone figures of men, animals and mythological creatures. These sculptures were carved to line the avenues, or spirit roads, leading to the tombs of important people. They encompass two thousand years of history, from the spirit road statue on a Han dynasty tomb in 117 B.C. to figures on the tomb of a direct descendant of Confucius in 1934. The statuary belongs to the classical tradition of Chinese sculpture that predated and then coexisted with the better-known Buddhist sculptural tradition. Drawing on ten years of fieldwork during which the author studied and photographed these sculptures in remote areas of China, she discusses their form and content, records their history and places them in their architectural philosophical and political contexts. She evaluates their position in Chinese art, discussing the role of the sculptor in Chinese society, the traditional Chinese attitude toward sculpture, and the development of sculptural techniques. She also demonstrates that, apart from its intrinsic artistic interest, the statuary reveals much about contemporary funerary practices, court costumes, and other customs and beliefs.
- Publisher : Yale Univ Pr; First Printing edition (April 1, 1991)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 290 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0300045972
- ISBN-13 : 978-0300045970
- Item Weight : 3.02 pounds
- Dimensions : 9 x 1 x 11.25 inches