The Golden Age of Chinese Art: The Lively T'ang Dynasty

The Golden Age of Chinese Art: The Lively T'ang Dynasty

The Golden Age of Chinese Art: The Lively T'ang Dynasty

The Golden Age of Chinese Art: The Lively T'ang Dynasty

Excerpt

The T'ang dynasty is often regarded as one of the proudest and most glorious epochs in China's long and turbulent history. The first half of the almost ' three hundred year reign was an age of undisputed military and political power, which saw China emerge as the world's largest and most powerful empire, feared and respected throughout Asia.The period also witnessed an unrivalled florescence of the arts, notably the major arts of sculpture and painting as well as ceramics, the decorative arts, poetry and music.

Despite the reunification of the country into a single empire under the Sui Dynasty, revolt and disunity, fostered by a weak and corrupt court, were once again in evidence during the late sixth and early seventh centuries.China was on the verge of another extended period of civil strife, like that which followed the fall of the Han empire, but was saved from such a fate by Li Shih-min, the hero of the hour and a youth of only eighteen, who seized the reins of power and put his aged father on the throne as the first emperor of the T'ang Dynasty.Li Shih-min, one of the outstanding personalities in the history of China, then consolidated the empire he had founded, defeating all opponents of his plans during years of bitter civil war and ultimately, in 627, succeeded to the throne his father had occupied.

With the founding of the T'ang Dynasty in 618, there began one of the most glorious and vital epochs in the history of China, which was to leave a permanent and indelible mark on the country's future. When Li Shih-min died in 649, the . . .

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