Paths to Perfection
Buddhist Art at the Freer | Sackler
Although the Buddha himself was not depicted directly for several centuries, Buddhism’s success owes much to the visual arts across cultures, from India and Nepal to Japan and Indonesia. More than 100 items are illustrated in this guide, including buddhas, bodhisattvas, mandalas and ritual objects. All are now in the Smithsonian’s Asian art collections, whose curators and scholars provide the descriptions and contextual information.
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, and photographs of Sadhus, illustrate the diversity of style and culture that has emanated from the sub-continent over the last 1,000 years. On each spread has the object or image is accompanied by authoritative and detailed explanations of its cultural significance and history.
The Lure of Painted Poetry
Japanese and Korean Art
For some 2000 years, the educated elites of Japan and Korea learned classical Chinese poetry and adopted the Confucian aesthetic that informed it. Illustrated with almost 100 works from the collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art, this catalogue explores the ways in which these poems were reflected in the decorative arts, including landscape and figure painting, ornamental screens, ceramics, metalwork, lacquerware and calligraphy, and the cultural links between the nations of Southeast Asia.
Tales from the Land of Dragons
1,000 Years of Chinese Painting
Ancient China nurtured the world’s oldest continuous tradition of painting on silk and paper, with brushwork much influenced by trends in the art of calligraphy. This volume brings together 153 items from the unique collection at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, ranging from the Han to the Yuan Dynasty, many of which treat Buddhist and Daoist subjects. Each image is accompanied by commentary on the painting’s content; an introduction describes the art form’s techniques, cultural context and stylistic development.
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.
Japonisme and the Rise of the Modern Art Movement
The Arts of the Meiji Period
With superb examples drawn from the Khalili Collection, the world’s finest collection of works from the Meiji period (1868–1912), this volume examines the fashion for Japanese art and its influence on artists in the West. Illustrated with 220 photographs and reproductions, the essays discuss topics including the presentation and reception of Japanese art in Europe and its direct influence on works by Vincent Van Gogh, Monet, Whistler and other Impressionist artists.
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.
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.
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.
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'.