A Short History of Chinese Art

A Short History of Chinese Art

A Short History of Chinese Art

A Short History of Chinese Art

Excerpt

Huizinga, the Dutch philosopher, once remarked that sooner or later every scholar reaches a point where he wearies of the drudgery of investigating special problems and wants to draw a coherent picture of his ideas. Having dealt with many topics of Chinese art in various papers during the last thirteen years, I came to that point some time ago. The results I arrived at often differed considerably from current notions. New material that turned up tended to confirm rather than to upset the ideas I had formed about the development of Chinese art. These ideas I have tried to present in this book.

No explanation should be necessary for the great emphasis laid upon problems of form. Form is the only means of expression an artist has at his disposal, whatever considerations may have determined his subject matter. It is form alone that makes a vessel, a statue, or a painting a work of art. But form never remains the same. It changes continually, and I saw my main task in describing these changes. They revealed themselves as so many phases of a logical, orderly, and organic evolution.

I am profoundly indebted to Miss Rosalie Green who in her quiet, efficient, and intelligent way prepared the manuscript for printing; and to my wife who prepared the index. I also want to extend my sincerest thanks to those who generously provided me with photographs. They are Professor B. Karlgren of the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities, Stockholm; Mr. R. Grousset, Musée Cernuschi, Paris; Bishop W. C. White of the Royal Ontario Museum of Archæology, Toronto; Mr. G. Del Dragon, New York; Mr. R. H. Bid well, Springfield, Mass.; Mr. C. T. Look, New York; Mr. Alfred H. Pillsbury, Minneapolis; Mr. L. Winnies, Paris; the Tonying Company, New York.

Chicago, Summer 1944 LUDWIG BACHHOFER

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