In the Realm of Gods and Kings
Arts of India
This updated and finely produced edition of the 2004 exhibition catalogue celebrates Indian art from 1000 BCE to the 20th century. The images of the sculpture, painting, manuscripts and decorative arts created for the courts and temples of India combine with photographs of Sadhus to illustrate the diversity of style and culture that has emanated from the sub-continent over the last 1,000 years. Each spread has the object or image accompanied by authoritative and detailed explanations of its cultural significance and history.
The Spirit of Indian Painting
Close Encounters with 101 Great Works 1100–1900
For Professor Goswamy, an Indian painting ‘presents to us a layered world of meaning’, and his analysis and commentary on each of these 101 paintings encourages the reader to explore them with ‘eyes, mind and heart’. The works are in four sections: Visions, depicting imagined sights such as gods, heroes or the Cosmic Egg; Observation, picturing real scenes and people; Passion, with works inspired by poetry or emotion; and Contemplation, expressed in paintings of holy men.
History, Mystery and the Latest Discoveries
Discovered by chance by farmers in 1974, the mausoleum of the first emperor of China contained one of the wonders of the world: the Terracotta Army. Based on unique access to leading Chinese archaeologists, this book sets the clay warriors in the context of Chinese society 2,200 years ago, describes the latest discoveries at the vast and only partly excavated site, and hints at what may still be uncovered – including the imperial tomb itself.
Temples and Tombs
Treasures of Egyptian Art from the British Museum
Thousands of years after they were created, the works produced by the royal artists of ancient Egypt retain their power to inspire wonder at its rich and vibrant culture. This volume – the catalogue of a 2006 exhibition – presents 85 artefacts, from imposing granite statues to delicate gold earrings, spanning the millennia of pharaonic history. It also features two essays, on the background to the manufacture of such items, and on the history of the British Museum’s Egyptian collections.
A Much Recorded War
The Russo-Japanese War in History and Imagery
Intense international interest in the Russo-Japanese dispute over Chinese territory in 1904–5 meant that the war was extensively covered by journalists and many images were produced for combatant and foreign nations. Examining the origins and history of the conflict, this exhibition catalogue presents 80 items, including woodblock prints, lithographs, watercolours, photographs and postcards, that demonstrate how imagery depicting the war developed in Japanese art during the period.
Adoration and Glory
The Golden Age of Khmer Art
Drawing on museum collections in Thailand, Britain and the USA as well as Cambodia, this handsome volume is a scholarly, yet accessible study of ancient Khmer art, with essays on its aesthetics, techniques and issues of authenticity accompanying a catalogue of 180 artefacts, each illustrated and described, with emphasis on its place in Khmer religion and culture.
Early Carpets and Tapestries on the Eastern Silk Road
A mysterious group of textiles, preserved for centuries in Kyoto, is brought out only for an annual Shinto-Buddhist festival. This richly illustrated guide explains the tapestries’ meaning, their Chinese origins and the reasons why they are shrouded in such secrecy.
Treasures from Korea
Arts and Culture of the Joseon Dynasty, 1392–1910
The dynasty that ruled Korea for five centuries presided over an era of unparalleled artistry, in which aesthetic rigour combined with sensitivity to materials to produce objects of great refinement. Published in conjunction with a major exhibition at museums in Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Houston, this catalogue features hundreds of paintings, woodcarvings, ceramics and textiles. The accompanying essays explore these artistic traditions, the history of the Joseon dynasty, and the Confucian philosophy that underpinned the culture.
Love & Devotion
From Persia and Beyond
Tales of earthly and spiritual love, recounted by Persian poets from the eleventh century, were copied into exquisitely illuminated manuscripts for a courtly elite. Published in conjunction with landmark exhibitions in Oxford and Melbourne, this volume reproduces more than 130 such illustrations of the stories of Yusuf and Zulaykha, Khusrau and Shirin, and Layla and Manjun, while the accompanying essays reveal new perspectives on this literary and artistic tradition, and the culture that produced it.
Visions from the Golden Land
Burma and the Art of Lacquer
Asian lacquer is created by painting the resin of the Chinese lacquer tree onto boxes, vessels, furniture and statues, where it forms a hard surface that can be polished, carved, decorated and inlaid. With over 200 colour illustrations, this book examines the tradition of Burmese lacquerwork, exploring the methods of production, regional styles and variations, and how the decorative objects reflect Burmese culture in Buddhist devotional items or containers for betel-chewing ingredients.
Transmitting the Forms of Divinity
Early Buddhist Art from Korea and Japan
Buddhism was introduced to Japan by an emissary from Korea’s Paekche kingdom around the year 538. The region’s early Buddhist culture is the subject of the 15 essays in this volume, the illustrated catalogue of a major exhibition on the two states’ formative links. In particular, the authors draw on recently discovered evidence to present new theories about the transformation of Buddhist art and architecture in Korea and Japan between the sixth and ninth centuries.
Japanese Prints During the Allied Occupation 1945–1952
The printmaker Onchi Kōshirō and his circle were instrumental in finding new directions for Japanese art after the devastation of the war. Encouraged by American graphic artist, Ernst Hacker, who was posted to Japan in 1945, the achievements of the period are recognized in this selection of prints, the basis of which is Hacker's own collection, recently given to the British Museum, comprising the work of Onchi, Hacker himself and Munakata Shikō, among others.
The Chinese Painter as Poet
Chinese poetry and painting have always been closely allied; the verses are intensely visual, and the calligraphy is itself a form of brushwork. Published in conjunction with an exhibition at New York’s China Institute Gallery, this volume explores the connection between the two art forms. Illustrated with 25 exquisite artworks from the exhibition and many other illustrative figures ranging from the Shang dynasty to the People’s Republic, the book offers an illuminating insight into three millennia of Chinese culture.
Turkish Art and Architecture
From the Seljuks to the Ottomans
Turks first arrived in the Anatolian peninsula in 1071, when the Seljuks, a nomadic people from Central Asia, defeated the Byzantine forces at Manzikert. The empires that they and their successors, the Ottomans, built straddled East and West, and created a new architectural idiom that drew on Graeco-Roman, Persian and Islamic sources. Stunningly illustrated with more than 250 colour photographs, this volume charts the 1,000-year development of Turkish architecture, alongside that of decorative arts such as manuscripts, carpets, ceramics and metalwork.
Chinese Ivory Carvings
The Sir Victor Sassoon Collection
Heir to a banking fortune, Victor Sassoon (1881–1961) assembled one of the world’s most important collections of Chinese ivory carving from his base in Shanghai. This magnificent volume presents 350 artefacts from his collection, now held in trust for the citizens of the UK. Introductory essays explore the acquisition of these exquisite ornaments, figurines, screens and sewing boxes, which range from the 2nd millennium BCE to the 20th century, and place them in their historical and cultural context.
The Chinese Art Book
Examining Chinese art over several millennia, this unconventional volume presents reproductions or photographs of a vast range of artefacts and paintings, each one juxtaposed with another work on the facing page, and producing unexpected dialogues across time, culture and genre. Shitao's Riverbank of Peach Blossoms (c.1700), for example, is paired with a 2006 installation, Sketch the Sketch Lesson by Qiu Xiaofei, but the volume includes sculptures, ceramics, calligraphy and photographs ranging in date from prehistory to the 21st century.
The Art of Princely Courts in Fifteenth-Century China
Beginning with the reign of the Yongle emperor (1403–1424), this richly illustrated catalogue presents over 120 artefacts once owned by princes of the Ming dynasty during the period up to the death of the Jiajing emperor in 1566. Indicative of the fabulous wealth of the Ming rulers, the pieces described and photographed include gold and silver vessels, jewellery and jade, paintings, porcelain and clothing. The volume also contains essays on aspects of Ming art history and recent archaeological finds.
Visions of Fuji
Artists from the Floating World
Mount Fuji, with its majestic cone and snow-capped summit, has inspired artists and writers for centuries. This lavish volume, with an embossed foil cover, discusses its continuing influence, and focuses on the series of views of the mountain by the giants of Japanese woodblock art, Katsushika Hokusai (1760–1849) and Utagawa Hiroshige (1797–1858). Hundreds of reproductions show this emblem of perfection, symmetry, spiritual balance and endurance in all its many guises, while the text follows the evolution of the artists' work.
Part of the Introductions to Chinese Culture series, this book provides an accessible overview of sculptural art in China, including the Terracotta Army, Buddhist sculpture, tomb carvings, architectural sculpture, exchange with foreign cultures and sculpture in China today. Like all the books in the series, it is written by a noted expert in the field, well illustrated with colour photographs and offers an ideal introductory survey for both students and general readers.
Masterpieces of Art
After an introductory chapter on Japanese woodblock printing in the Edo period, its artists, schools and its influence on western art, this book presents around 90 masterpieces by key artists. The prints are in sections on beautiful women, landscapes, kabuki theatre and flora and fauna, and include such famous works as The Great Wave off Kanagawa by Hokusai, Kuniyoshi's powerful portrayals of Kabuki actors and Hiroshige's Carp and River Trout from his 'Collection of Fish'.