Guide to the Tomb and Shrine Art of the Han Dynasty 206 B.c. - A.d.220

Author: James, Jean
This book explains the function, meaning, and use of pictorial art in the funerary context during the four hundred years of the Han dynasty, with references to social values and contemporary texts that describe those values. The bulk of the works discussed has not been published outside of China and all of it has been excavated and dated correctly. It presents a logical interpretation of Han pictorial art based on the works themselves rather than on an a priori theory of what they mean. The first three chapters deal with late Zhou antecedents, then early and middle Western Han and Late Western Han and early Eastern Han. Chapter four treats Eastern Han concentrating on the art of Henan province, and the book concludes with a discussion of the late Eastern Han offering shrine and one late tomb. With many illustrations.


"...presents a fascinating, formative period in Chinese art history in a concise manner that is interesting to read and contemplate. The greatest contribution of the book is that it makes available, for the first time in English, a comprehensive summary of a repertoire of figures and images from Han dynasty tombs and shrines recently excavated in China....synthesizes a wealth of information from Chinese journals, site reports, as well as Western language sources, thereby creating a valuable reference tool for scholars and students of early Chinese art and archaeology." Dr. Elizabeth M. Owen, Yale University