The art history of Chinese traditional crafts

Review the art history of  crafts, for the development of handicrafts by the ancient mirror today.

1,Primitive society

Handicraft in the primitive period did not form a unified artistic style. In addition to pottery and jade ware, other handicraft categories in the neolithic age were also born and developed. Ivory ware and animal bone ware not only appeared, but also were often decorated.

The decoration of this art history period was often totem and emblem, but many decorations and shapes were directly inherited by later generations, becoming the main decoration theme of shang and zhou bronzes.

Black pottery from hemudu period

2,Summer, the western zhou dynasty

The shang dynasty had a fairly developed handicraft industry, and bronze casting was especially prosperous. The works of this period were full of majestic and weird colors, reflecting the patriarchal clan system.

By the middle of the western zhou dynasty, the strict rules and features of bronze art had been established, and the patterns began to be simplified and geometric, and the mysterious and weird colors gradually faded.

Fine bronze vessels from the shang and zhou dynasties

3,The spring and autumn period and the warring states period

During the spring and autumn period, vassals were dominant and the states were divided. Continuous wars made the economy decline, but different ethnic composition and regional background promoted the diversification of art.In the late spring and autumn period, the educational system changed, people’s ideas became active, and they had more freedom in the creation and use of utensils.

Handicraft begins to return to life, pure and fresh and luxuriant look is established gradually.In this period of turbulent history, there appeared successively the iron and lacquer ware that shook the supreme status of bronze ware, and the booming silk weaving industry.

Dragon and phoenix patterns cover beans in warring states period

4,Qin and han dynasties

During the qin and han dynasties, the country was unified, the economy developed, the culture was rich, and the handicraft industry flourished.Centralized political system makes the appearance of works tend to be unified.At this time the idea of the immortals permeated, the decoration began to be full of gods and spirits auspicious beast and floating sacred mountain fairy island, heaven and earth clouds.

During the han dynasty, the “human” factor was gradually strengthened, and the focus on life had become the absolute mainstream.The han culture had an important influence on later generations, especially the opening of the silk road, which strengthened the communication between Chinese and western culture.The most important thing was the invention of porcelain.

In the late eastern han dynasty, green porcelain first appeared in shaoxing and shangyu of zhejiang province.

5,Wei jin southern and northern dynasties

Wei, jin, southern and northern dynasties were the most chaotic period in Chinese history.Severe social turbulence and complicated political pattern made the development of handicraft difficult. During this period, fine arts were impacted by the west, but also promoted the international artistic communication, making the works rich in connotation and various in appearance.

Most of the works of the western jin dynasty of The Three Kingdoms continued the han style, pursuing vigor and wonder, and showing a fresh and natural atmosphere.During the sixteen kingdoms period, there was no unified style of manual art.

The Three Kingdoms wei west jin banquet picture brick

6,Sui tang five dynasties

Tang dynasty is a colorful era, but also the core of the development of manual art, fu lihua mei.In modeling design, the status of plant image has been improved repeatedly, and the realistic tendency is more obvious.

In the early tang dynasty, products and civilizations from the western regions flowed into China.Later, the an-shi rebellion disrupted the silk road and reduced the communication between China and the west. People in the north moved south due to the war, which promoted the development of local art.

Tang dynasty gilded silver pot with parrot pattern handle

7,Liao Song Xia jin

Among these dynasties, the handicraft art of song dynasty is the most important.In song dynasty, the state policy of restraining military forces and writing promoted the high development of culture and emphasized the beauty of texture.A variety of characteristics of texture, shape, decoration and color have created the elegant and beautiful style of the manual art in the song dynasty. It is precisely the essence of the national culture that the exquisite workmanship is fine but does not boast the skills.The style of works created by the song dynasty often became the model imitated by the yuan and Ming dynasties.

Bi sheng invented movable type printing in the northern song dynasty.


8,The yuan dynasty

The mongolians value their cultural traditions and customs very much. They admire the colors blue and white, so a large number of handicrafts based on blue and white come into being.Mengyuan ruling group has an unprecedented large system of official handwork, which not only produces a great amount of products, but also leads the trend of The Times. Therefore, the style of manual art in yuan dynasty is the exquisite and luxurious wind pursued by the government.In history, the yuan dynasty handwork art status is very high, because the Ming and qing dynasties mainstream art finally returned to the direction guided by the yuan dynasty.

Yangzhou museum town museum treasure – the yuan dynasty ji blue glaze white dragon pattern plum bottle

9,In the Ming dynasty

The mainstream art of Ming dynasty is represented by the official porcelain, but it presents different styles in different periods: yongle, xuande dignified and full;Chenghua elegant exquisite;And jiajing in the strong gaudy, show the pursuit of furama beauty.

Compared with the yuan dynasty, the handmade scale of the government in the Ming dynasty was much smaller, and the scale of the people was much larger than that of the government.At the end of Ming dynasty, a landmark work appeared in the history of Chinese science and technology, namely song yingxing’s tiangong kaiwu.

The imperial palace is a collection of blue and white xuande tea leaf patterns ruyi ear flat.During the xuande period of Ming dynasty, the firing technology of blue and white porcelain reached its peak.

10,In the qing dynasty

Kangxi period, works elegant;Yongzheng period, works elegant;In the late qianlong period, people were obsessed with techniques, bizarre shapes and gaudy decorations.

After the outbreak of the opium war, with the continuous loss of national sovereignty, China’s traditional handicraft industry was squeezed and faced with collapse, and the impact of western civilization on China was even stronger.But only in terms of technology and art, the craft of qing dynasty had a positive impact on overseas countries.

Qing qianlong principal enamel color hollow dish – mouth bottle

11,During the period of the republic of China

During this period, western painting developed vigorously. CAI yuanpei advocated aesthetic education. In 1920, he separated patterns and combined them with other arts and crafts, such as decoration and packaging, into “arts and crafts”, and determined the four categories of art: architecture, sculpture, painting and arts and crafts.

With the social demand for arts and crafts, commercial arts, industrial arts and product design and decoration, theoretical research on arts and crafts has gradually emerged and achieved good results.

One of the “eight friends of pearl mountain”, wang qi’s porcelain painting “muddleheaded is immortal”

12,New China period

After the founding of new China, China’s arts and crafts into a new period of development, more export to earn foreign exchange support industry, promote the economic development of new China.In a special period of history, culture and art were severely damaged and even stopped for a time.It has since recovered, but has been in a weak state.

In recent years, in the process of long-term development and promotion of the state, Chinese traditional handicrafts have gradually got rid of difficulties. In addition, the ministry of culture, the ministry of industry and information technology and the ministry of finance jointly issued the revitalization plan of Chinese traditional crafts, and Chinese traditional crafts have entered a period of vigorous development.

keywords: crafts  products  embroidery

Friendship reference:  xinlang

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