Chinese Pottery and Porcelain: From Prehistory to the Present

Shelagh J. Vainker, Author, S. J. Vainker, Author George Braziller $45 (240p) ISBN 978-0-8076-1260-6
The art of Chinese ceramics encompasses prehistoric clay figurines of pregnant women, bronze ritualistic bells, exotic earthenware figures of merchants in the Central Asian silk trade, Ming writing-boxes bearing Arabic inscriptions, Taoist shrines adorned with lacquer and gilding, and pagoda tiles molded with monster masks. It's an art as richly varied as Chinese civilization itself, as this resplendently illustrated survey makes abundantly clear. Vainker, a curator at the British Museum, draws on the museum's vast collection of Chinese stoneware, porcelain and religious sculpture in her absorbing narrative. Proceeding from the riotous gaiety of Tang ``three-color wares'' (A.D. 618-906) to the classical equilibrium of 12th-century Song pottery to a modern, softly glowing ``eggshell'' porcelain vase, Vainker vibrantly charts ``a continued transformation of the contemporary into the collectable.'' (May)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1991
Release date: 04/01/1991
Genre: Nonfiction
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