Chinese Religious Art

Chinese Religious Art


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Chinese Religious Art is a broad survey of the origins and development of the various forms of artistic expression of Chinese religions. This survey of icons, temples, and rituals reveals the varied ways the Chinese expressed the presence of the divine and worshipped it. Some of the most beautiful art, inspired mountain temples, lofty landscapes, lush gardens, murals and paintings both narrative and iconic, characterizes each of the traditions. Most of the visual material comprises unpublished views of these sacred sites.

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Product details

  • Paperback | 394 pages
  • 152.4 x 228.6 x 27.94mm | 589.67g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 6 black & white illustrations, 215 black & white halftones, 1 maps
  • 0739180592
  • 9780739180594
  • 1,459,763

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Patricia Eichenbaum Karetzky has given us an important book, the first truly comprehensive scholarly study of Chinese religious art. What is particularly notable is that Karetzky correctly presents certain iconographical types of Confucian art as religious, side by side with Daoist and Buddhist art. For the first time, therefore, we are in a position to assess the significant commonalities linking all aspects of Chinese religious culture. Many works, including architectural sites, are presented for the first time in a fascinating series of photographs by the author herself. The scholarship is current with the very best being done in China and in the West. -- Jonathan Chaves, professor of Chinese, The George Washington University Patricia Karetzky's book Chinese Religious Art deals with a complex, broad, and long tradition of Chinese religious art; namely art of native traditional beliefs in spirits, Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism. Her approach is innovative since this fascinating book includes intriguing ancient Chinese art, both Confucian and Taoist art, which only recently received attention, and Buddhist art, which brought China a rich visual tradition. At the beginning of each chapter, she provides a brief historical and political background in a very organized manner that enables readers to understand both continuity and change over the centuries, as Chinese sacred art was largely developed with imperial and aristocratic patronage. She does not deal with the dominance of one tradition or the other but observes the complex interactions and interdependence of Chinese artistic inspirations over several thousand years from prehistoric times to the present. As voluminous new materials on Chinese art are now available on the internet and other electronic media, this fascinating book guides us with a steady stream of artistic formats and styles to a full appreciation. It provides general readers and students an organized framework to understand not only Chinese sacred narrative art, but also architectural works such as temples and palaces as structured ritual space. The book contains many of the author's photos taken during her extensive travels in China. This valuable book demonstrates why Patricia Karetzky is considered among our foremost interpreters and educators in the field of Chinese religious artistic traditions. -- Mariko Namba Walter, Director, Association for Central Asian Civilizations & Silk Road Studies (ACANSRS) Chinese Religious Art is the first single volume to treat Confucian, Daoist, and Buddhist traditions of art in China. This is a substantial undertaking by Karetzky. Her book-slim in size relative to the parameters of her study-introduces general readers and new students to a sweeping range of art and architecture from the Neolithic to the late imperial periods. Coverage is a major strength, allowing students to readily perceive both common expressions and dramatic distinctions among the arts of China's major religions...Summing Up: Recommended. Lower- and upper-level undergraduates; general readers. CHOICE

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About Patricia Eichenbaum Karetzky

Patricia Eichenbaum Karetzky is the O. Munsterberg Chair of Asian Art at Bard College, New York and Adjunct Professor at City College of New York. She has published numerous books and articles on Chinese culture in general and in particular on Chinese religious art, notably Buddhist and Daoist aesthetic traditions. She was editor of the Journal of Chinese Religions for five years.

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