Chinese Art and Architecture | Scholastic ART | changethru.info
The Qin dynasty was brief in duration ( BCE) but very Despite its brevity, the Qin dynasty left important marks on Chinese culture. Thus the Qin became a close ally of the Zhou and they also had marriage relations with the Zhou . In addition, the dynasty left a wonder of ancient artwork: the. Age of Empires: Chinese Art of the Qin and Han Dynasties with more cultural identity, while examining ancient China's relationship with the. Qin Dynasty: Religion, Art & Culture. Qin Dynasty: Economy & Political Structure. Shang Dynasty: Technology, Inventions & Achievements.
Thus, the feudal society was completely reshaped in the two centuries preceding the Qin unification. Cultural change These great political and socioeconomic changes were accompanied by intellectual ferment, as the people tried to adjust themselves to a rapidly changing world. Ideas about the proper relationships between members of society were naturally questioned when the old feudal order was shaken, and in that period the great teacher Confucius elaborated the social concepts that henceforth became normative for Chinese civilization.
In place of rigid feudal obligations, he posited an order based on more-universal human relationships such as that between father and son and taught that ability and moral excellence rather than birth were what fitted a person for leadership. ConfuciusConfucius, statue in Beijing.
Even the individualist thinkers known as Daoists Taoistswho did not follow Confucius, formulated their teachings as a rebuttal to the Confucian system. Confucius and other pre-Qin thinkers viewed the traditional political institutions of China as bankrupt and tried to devise a rationale for something to replace them. Some, such as Confucius, put their main emphasis on the quality of the ruling elite group; others, such as Shang Yang died bce and Hanfeizi died bceregarded a well-organized governing mechanism as the only way to an orderly society.
The development of the new centralized monarchical state after the middle of the Chunqiu period is not only the embodiment of the ideas of these various thinkers but also the working premise in the context of which they elaborated their theories. The high degree of social and political consciousness that characterized most of the pre-Qin philosophical schools set the pattern for the close association of the intellectual with government and society in later China.
The burgeoning commercial life of the period also influenced other spheres, especially in the prevalence of contractual relationships. This kind of contractual relationship remained common in China until the tide of commercialism was ended by the restriction of commercial activity under the Han emperor Wudi in the 2nd century bce. The local cultures of China were blended into one common civilization during Chunqiu times.
Through contacts and interchanges, the gods and legends of one region became identified and assimilated with those of other regions. Local differences remained, but, from that time on, the general Chinese pantheon took the form of a congregation of gods with specific functions, representing a celestial projection of the unified Chinese empire with its bureaucratic society.
Bold challenges to tradition have been rare in Chinese historyand the questioning and innovating spirit of the Chunqiu period was to have no parallel until the ferment of the 20th century, after two millennia had elapsed under the domination of Confucian orthodoxy. The Qin empire — bce The Qin state The history of the Qin dynasty may be traced to the 8th century bce.
According to the Qin historical record, when the Zhou royal house was reestablished at the eastern capital in bce, the Qin ruling house was entrusted with the mission of maintaining order in the previous capital. This may be an exaggeration of the importance of the Qin rulers, and the Qin may have been only one of the ruling families of the old states that recognized Zhou suzerainty and went to serve the Zhou court.
The record is not clear. In the old annals Qin did not appear as a significant power until the time of Mugong reigned — bcewho made Qin the main power in the western part of China. Although Qin attempted to obtain a foothold in the central heartland along the Huang He, it was blocked by the territories of Jin.
Qin failed several times to enter the eastern bloc of powers and had to limit its activities to conquering, absorbing, and incorporating the non-Chinese tribes and states scattered within and west of the big loop of the Huang He.
The eastern powers, however, regarded Qin as a barbarian state because of the non-Chinese elements it contained. Qin, in fact, was the only major power that did not suffer battle within its own territory. Moreover, being a newly emerged state, Qin did not have the burden of a long-established feudal system, which allowed it more freedom to develop its own pattern of government.
This may be one reason why Qin was one of the handful of ruling houses that survived the great turmoil of the late Chunqiu period.
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A period of silence followed. Even the Qin historical record that was adopted by the historian Sima Qian yields almost no information for a period of some 90 years in the 5th century bce. The evidence suggests that Qin underwent a period of consolidation and assimilation during the years of silence. When it reemerged as an important power, its culture appeared to be simpler and more martial, perhaps because of the non-Chinese tribes it had absorbed.
Struggle for power Until the 5th century bce, China was dominated by the central-plain power Weia successor to Jin, and by the eastern power Qi, a wealthy state with a new ruling house. Qin remained a secondary power until after the great reforms of Xiaogong — bce and Shang Yang Wei Yang. Shang Yang, a frustrated bureaucrat in the court of Wei, went westward seeking a chance to try out his ideas.
In the court of Qin he established a rare partnership with the ruler Xiaogong and created the best-organized state of their time. Shang Yang first took strong measures to establish the authority of law and royal decree.
The law was to be enforced impartially, without regard to status or position. He convinced Xiaogong that the rank of nobility and the privileges attached to it should be awarded only to those who rendered good service to the state, especially for valour in battle.
This deprived the existing nobility of their titles and privileges, arousing much antagonism in the court. One of his most influential reforms was that of standardizing local administration. It was a step toward creating a unified state by combining various localities into counties, which were then organized into prefectures under direct supervision of the court.
This system was expanded to all of China after unification in bce. Another measure taken by Shang Yang was that he encouraged production, especially in agriculture. Farmers were given incentive to reclaim wasteland, and game and fishing reserves were also opened to cultivation. A shortage of labour was met by recruiting the able-bodied from neighbouring states, especially from Han, Zhao, and Wei.
This policy of drawing workers to Qin had two consequences: In order to increase incentives, the Qin government levied a double tax on any male citizen who was not the master of a household.
The result was a breakdown of the extended-family system, since younger children were forced to move out and establish their own households.
The nuclear family became the prevalent form in Qin thereafter. As late as the 2nd century bce, Han scholars were still attacking the Qin family structure as failing to observe the principle of filial piety, a cardinal virtue in the Confucian moral code.
Shang Yang also standardized the system of weights and measuresa reform of some importance for the development of trade and commerce.
Qin Dynasty Art: Characteristics, Types
Qin grew wealthy and powerful under the joint labours of Xiaogong and Shang Yang. What remained of the Zhou royal court still survived, ruling over a fragmentary domain—poor, weak, and totally at the mercy of the contending powers. It was commonly felt that China ought to be unified politically, although the powers disagreed as to how it was to be done and who would be the universal king. Huiwang, son of Xiaogong, claimed the royal title in bce.
The adoption of the royal title by Qin was of course a challenge to Qi and Wei. Qin pursued a strategy of dividing its rivals and individually defeating them. Qin appealed to the self-interest of other powers in order to keep them from intervening in any military action it was taking against one of its neighbours. It befriended the more distant states while gradually absorbing the territories of those close to it.
Within half a century, Qin had acquired undisputed predominance over the other contending powers. It continued maneuvering in order to prevent the others from uniting against it. The Qin strategists were ruthless: For a time, the eastern power Qi had seemed the most likely to win. It defeated Wei, crushed Yan in bce, and annexed Song in bce. But Qi was overturned by an allied force of five states, including Qin. Zhaothe power with extensive territory in the northern frontier, succeeded Qi as the most formidable contender against Qin.
He was a strong and energetic ruler, and, although he appointed a number of capable aides, the emperor remained the final authority and the sole source of power.
Shihuangdi made a number of important reforms. He abolished the feudal system completely and extended the administration system of prefectures and counties, with officials appointed by the central government sent into all of China. Circuit inspectors were dispatched to oversee the local magistrates. China was divided into some 40 prefectures. They diversified as they passed through India to meet at Constantinople Istanbul and then merged into a melting pot of various trading ports sited around the Mediterranean.
Courtesy Yunnan Provincial Museum, Kunming Travelling kilometers Chinese merchants moved a trickle of Chinese export wares regularly and their arrival in Europe provided an opportunity to establish a continuing dialogue between peoples of different cultures.
Chinese potters gathered ideas and many different decorative elements became integral to an ever-increasing ceramic design repertoire. Pottery from this period is decorated with geometric designs arranged in bands round the body and neck. Gilt bronze inlaid with glass, each 10? This will be reflected in an array of ornate ritual vessels, including sets of musical instruments, refined lacquer wares and splendid silk textiles. A meticulously rendered sculpture of a rhinoceros clearly modelled on a living animal offered as tribute for the royal menagerie will be sure to delight.
The exhibition features a burial suit for a Han princess made of more than 2, jade pieces jade was believed to purify and preserve the body from corruption.
Rhinoceros Western Han dynasty B. Examples from this period have been recovered from ruins of the Erlitou culturein Shanxi, and include complex but unadorned utilitarian objects.
In the following Shang dynasty more elaborate objects, including many ritual vessels, were crafted.
The Shang are remembered for their bronze casting, noted for its clarity of detail. Shang bronzesmiths usually worked in foundries outside the cities to make ritual vessels, and sometimes weapons and chariot fittings as well. The bronze vessels were receptacles for storing or serving various solids and liquids used in the performance of sacred ceremonies.
Some forms such as the ku and jue can be very graceful, but the most powerful pieces are the dingsometimes described as having an "air of ferocious majesty". It is typical of the developed Shang style that all available space is decorated, most often with stylized forms of real and imaginary animals.