Art And The World Religions Essay

889 words - 4 pages

Part Two Art and The World ReligionsNaturalistic pottery sculpture appeared in the Qin period in tomb figures and was further developed in the Han and Tang periods when it was sometimes wholly or partly covered with colored glazes. Statues were never rated highly by the Chinese. The pure forms and smooth cool jade-like textures of bowls and vases and other thing in porcelain, first made in the Tang period.The popularization of Buddhism had a consequence of revolutionary importance in the invention of the woodblock printings first appeared in the time of the Song Empire. In the following century woodblock printing was used to for the publication of imperial decrees and for the first paper money. And the task of printing books, each page from a carved wooden block began the Confucian classics and the Daoist text as well as the Buddhist scriptures assisting Neo-Confucianists in their search for religio-philosophical synthesis.One of a set of four prints of landscapes with Buddhist sages surrounded by disciples reveals the possibilities of the medium. But they were not exploited. The majority of prints produced before the sixteenth century were either technical diagrams or popular religious images which circulated only among the lower strata of society. Another development in the Buddhism had a more direct influence on the arts: the emergence of the Chan sect founded in 520-7 but achieving little prominence before the ninth century.Landscape PaintingBuddhist art was essentially public images made for domestic shrines were small-scale versions of those displayed in temples. In early Chinese literature there are many references to Tang landscape painters, including some extreme individualists who adopted unorthodox procedures. The earliest surviving paintings that to some extent reflect Tang ideas date from the tenth century. An eleventh-century biographer records that his only ambition was to lead a quiet life and that, as an artist, his inspired versatility was the quintessence of the spiritual, very far beyond normal human capacities. It was from the practice of calligraphy, which demanded vitality of line, structural strength in each character and firm control over the composition of the whole page, that these artists derived much of their skill and sensibility. The viewer's eye is invited to wander with the pilgrim in the left foreground, across the bridge to the rustic huts and pavilions where people are eating, drinking and taking, to climb up among the autumnal trees to the temple and to scan the remoter distances.But the longing for forests and streams, the companionship of mists and vapours, need not be satisfied only in dreams and denied to the waking senses. Paintings of such scenes could enable the city dweller to sit to his heart's content among streams and valleys. To support them...

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