Preface; Introduction (Jessica Rawson); 1 Jades and bronzes for ritual (Jessica Rawson); 2 Calligraphy and painting for official life (Anne Farrer); 3 Sculpture for tombs and temples (Jessica Rawson); 4 Decorative arts for display (Jane Portal); 5 Ceramics for use (Shelagh Vainker); 6 Luxuries for trade (Jessica Rawson and Jane Portal); Chronologies; Archaeological sites; Buddhist sites and reliquary deposits; Traditional architecture; Tombs; Painters; Glossaries; Select bibliographies; List of illustrations; Index.
Combining the experience and expertise of past and present curatorial staff responsible for the Chinese collections in the British Museum's Department of Asia, the authors are the former Keeper Jessica Rawson (editor), now Warden of Merton College and co-author of the China: Three Emperors exhibition catalogue, and Anne Farrer, Jane Portal, Shelagh Vainker, Carol Michaelson and Mary Ginsberg.
This is easily the best introductory overview of Chinese art to appear in years. A readable and attractive volume, it integrates Chinese history, culture, art, and relations with other countries into chapters covering types of objects (e.g., jades and bronzes for ritual, luxuries for trade, ceramics for use). Edited by renowned scholar Rawson of the British Museum, this work provides a wealth of information at a level suitable for students and interested readers. The illustrations are well chosen from the British Museum and other collections, and appendixes supply additional details on vessel shapes, dynastic history, archaeological sites, and more. Highly recommended for both general and specialized collections.-- Kathryn W. Finkelstein, M.Ln., Cincinnati
"'The most lucid and authoritative introduction to Chinese culture available in English' National Art Book prize winner 'Sumptuous but affordable' New Statesman and Society"