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The Arts of China (An Ahmanson Murphy Fine Arts Book) Paperback – February 1, 2000

ISBN-13: 978-0520218772 ISBN-10: 0520218779 Edition: 4 Revised

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Product Details

  • Series: An Ahmanson Murphy Fine Arts Book
  • Paperback: 342 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; 4 Revised edition (February 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520218779
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520218772
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.8 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,029,150 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Sullivan explores this background so deftly and relevantly that the arts, as an expression of the times in which they took shape, come vibrantly alive. -- Asiaweek --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

"From the Neolithic to the avant-garde, and through all the brilliant centuries in between, Michael Sullivan's newly revised introduction to Chinese art history is unmatched in its clarity, balance, and sure grasp of the subject. Whether for the classroom student or the casual reader, its remarkable range and elegant style make this book a wonderful way for anyone to begin learning about Chinese art." —Jerome Silbergeld, Professor of Art History, University of Washington, and author of Chinese Painting Style

"A concise, comprehensive, and highly readable overview of Chinese art extending from its Neolithic roots down to its modern engagement with the West."—Maxwell Hearn, Curator of Chinese Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and author of Splendors of Imperial China

"I have used this text in my class for thirty years. With full revisions and additions reflecting recent archaeology and art historical scholarship, the fourth edition will continue to be the best one-volume history of Chinese art in the English language. No other historian of Chinese art today commands such a wide range of knowledge as Michael Sullivan."—Richard Barnhart, John M. Schiff Professor of the History of Art, Yale University, and editor of Three Thousand Years of Chinese Painting

"This is the most comprehensive study of Chinese art, giving up-to-date information from the Stone Age to the twentieth century. Professor Michael Sullivan is a leading scholar in this field, and this is an indispensable textbook for all students of Asian art history." —Wang Qingli, Professor of Chinese Art History, University of Hong Kong, and author of A History of Nineteenth-Century Chinese Art

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 21 customer reviews
This book is beautifully illustrated and well written.
Natalie I. Klavans
The book, The Arts of China, was book I needed to purchase for a college level Asian Art History class focused on China.
A. King
The text is easy to read while being highly informative.
Phil Martz

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 38 people found the following review helpful By "reiji" on April 16, 2000
Format: Hardcover
It is difficult to write "Short History of Chinese Arts". Suppose that an honest scholar start preparing his lecture note of " Chinese Arts", he shall struggle with selecting subjects and plates. Moreover, for example, he feels that he be an expert on ancient bronzes, and a beginner of export wares in 17th century. Leaving the purgatory, he would want help to a standard textbook.
Among English books, this noted book may have used in many college courses. 1st edition(1967) and The revised edition(1973) were welcomed by many students and scholars. Even a japanese translation had been popular for many years. In this 4th edition, 84 old respectable scholar still attracts me with lucid style.
For beginners, this should be a good introduction. Appreciating artifacts in Museum, finding something in antique shop, or reading books/papers/articles about a particular subject, it needs some elementary background knowledge for chinese arts and history. This offers such COMMON SENSE.
For experienced scholars, this is an interesting reading. This might look a mean textbook for them. Before reading, I minded I become tired for many facts already learned, but I enjoy this book even in commute train, although this edition format is too large. Because not only this is Readable for a japanese, but also gives many (sometimes implicit) skeptical suggestions. At 258p, about Wan Hui (1632-1677, painter), "The Palace Museum collection also contains a number of clever pastiches of tenth-century and Northen Song landscapes that are almost certainly his work"; keen insight!.
I should regretfully notice that some illustrations/items might be inadequate, blurred, or damaged. I hope that they will be changed at next chance.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A. King on March 14, 2006
Format: Paperback
The book, The Arts of China, was book I needed to purchase for a college level Asian Art History class focused on China. Each chapter was divided into dynasties and within each chapter sections were written on: background history, ceramics, paintings, sculpture, and other various topics. There are lovely color pictures with high resolution, which are an essential to any student or scholar studying this art. The writing is clear and even enjoyable. I'd highly reccommend this book!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By joye on February 22, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book for a class, and I've been satisfied with it. The pictures are nearly all in color. The few pictures that are not in color, are usually not in color because we only have black and white photographs left. I would have appreciated greater information on the pieces in the illustrations. Sometimes a piece is pictured as an example without the caption or text going into exactly what aspects of the piece make it a typical example of the period. I had to rely more on my professor for that.

The book does a good job at talking about the religious, social, and scientific changes that effect the production and purpose of art.

The writing is very clear but fairly dry and academic, so it's not really a book that makes you want to sit down and read it for hours. I don't think I would have finished it if I wasn't taking a class using it, but I did learn a lot.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Phil Martz on January 31, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I purchased this book as my starting book for learning about art in China. The book has beautiful illustrations and outstanding examples of Chinese Art. The text is easy to read while being highly informative. The book traces the history of Chinese Art through the dynasties up to the present. I wouldn't think this is just for the novice. There is enough information here to create an excellent understanding of Chinese Art. This would have to be one of the top books on this topic.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By W Boudville HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 14, 2006
Format: Hardcover
The colour illustrations in this book are lovely to behold. Many show restored artifacts from China's long history. Vases, stoneware, flasks, paintings, handscrolls and much more. From the paintings, you can see where the traditional misty style of Chinese landscape paintings arose. There are even genres, like bamboo painting. Just like the Europeans developed portraits of horses and landed gentry.

Naturally, there is also extensive coverage of porcelain plates and containers. Beautifully decorated. The items that the Europeans would call "china"; so close was the identification of the objects with China itself.

But more than just objects, the narrative also gives insight into the various Chinese dynasties from which these arose. And also the provinces, like Jiangsu and Anhui, that were artistic centers.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By duckbird on November 19, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've not had much interaction with the study of Asian art and after much research I chose to begin with this text. It has a lot of great images and does a nice job of describing the social context of the different movements. I particularly liked the in depth coverage of painting which included the original aesthetic philosophies that motivated the artists. There is also a lot of attention paid to ceramics.

The only thing that I wish was included was a visual time line. There are so many dynasties it is hard to keep them straight. If I was reading this for a class I would probably find it difficult to pinpoint the time different works were made in.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kirsi J. Stock on October 21, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the textbook for a Chinese art history class I am taking. I don't normally enjoy reading my textbooks, but this one is an exception! It is informative, easy to follow, and written at a great introductory level (I have only had one previous art history class). Chapters are ordered and laid out in a sensible way and it is easy to re-find things and compare, for example, Shang period ritual bronzes to ritual bronzes from the Eastern Zhou.

I feel like this book would be best in conjunction with a class, in order to address other important works and go more in depth on certain topics that are only briefly covered in the book.

Great, colorful pictures!

Good price, too :)
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