Author: Sophia-Karin Psarras. Paperback; 175x245mm; x+138 pages; 4 maps, 69 figures. 591 2019. Available both in printed and e-versions. Printed ISBN 9781789693256. Epublication ISBN 9781789693263. |
Sources of Han Décor: Foreign Influence on the Han Dynasty Chinese Iconography of Paradise (206 BC-AD 220) uses archaeological data to examine the development of Han dynasty Chinese art (206 BC-AD 220), focussing on three major iconographies (the animal master, the tree of life, and animal predation), together with a series of minor motifs (particularly the griffin and several vegetal forms). All of these are combined in what may be considered the most important iconographic creation of the Han: images of paradise. While influence from the Chinese Bronze Age (especially, c. the 14th-3rd centuries BC) on Han art is expected, a surprisingly profound debt to Greece, the Near East, and the steppe is evident not only in the art of the Han era, but in that of the preceding Eastern Zhou (c. 771-221 BC). Initial Eastern Zhou incorporation of this largely-Western influence appears concentrated in chronological parallel to the Orientalization of Greek art (c. the 7th century BC) and the eastern spread of Hellenism (c. the 4th century BC), followed by repeated introduction of foreign motifs during the Han, when these influences were fully integrated into Chinese art.
About the Author
Sophia-Karin Psarras is a specialist of the archaeology and political history of China and the non-Chinese during the Han dynasty (206 BC-AD 220). Much of her work focuses on retracing intercultural exchange through material culture, together with an exploration of how that culture reflects the past. Her work has appeared in journals such as Monumenta Serica, Early China, and Central Asiatic Journal; her research on Han dynasty Chinese archaeology was published in Han Material Culture: An Archaeological Analysis and Vessel Typology (Cambridge University Press, 2015).
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