Oriental Art Books
The first illustrated, architectural history of the 'Alid shrines, increasingly endangered by the conflict in Syria The 'Alids (descendants of the Prophet Muhammad) are among the most revered figures in Islam, beloved by virtually all Muslims, regardless of sectarian affiliation. This study argues that despite the common identification of shrines as 'Shi'i' spaces, they have in fact always been unique places of pragmatic intersectarian exchange and shared piety, even - and perhaps especially - during periods of sectarian conflict. Using a rich variety of previously unexplored sources, including textual, archaeological, architectural, and epigraphic evidence, Stephennie Mulder shows how these shrines created a unifying Muslim 'holy land' in medieval Syria, and proposes a fresh conceptual approach to thinking about landscape in Islamic art. In doing so, she argues against a common paradigm of medieval sectarian conflict, complicates the notion of Sunni Revival, and provides new evidence for the negotiated complexity of sectarian interactions in the period.
This book investigates the interaction between word and image in medieval Persian art. Greater Iranian arts from the 10th to the 16th century are technically some of the finest produced anywhere. They are also intellectually engaging, showing the lively interaction between the verbal and the visual arts. Focusing on objects found in the main media at the time, Sheila S. Blair shows how artisans played with form, material and decoration to engage their audiences. She also shows how the reception of these objects has changed and that their present context has implications for our understanding of the past. It is lavishly illustrated in colour. It features 5 case studies - on ceramics, metalwares, painting, architecture and textiles - that showcase the variety of Persian art. It investigates the interaction between the visual and the verbal in a multi-lingual society. It looks at the transformation of everyday objects into works of art. It is written by one of the foremost experts in Persian art.
Named after an archaeological site discovered in 1951 in Zhengzhou, China, the Erligang civilization arose in the Yellow River valley around the middle of the second millennium BCE. Shortly thereafter, its distinctive elite material culture spread to a large part of China's Central Plain, in the south reaching as far as the banks of the Yangzi River. The Erligang culture is best known for the remains of an immense walled city at Zhengzhou, a smaller site at Panlongcheng in Hubei, and a large-scale bronze industry of remarkable artistic and technological sophistication. This richly illustrated book is the first in a western language devoted to the Erligang culture. It brings together scholars from a variety of disciplines, including art history and archaeology, to explore what is known about the culture and its spectacular bronze industry. The opening chapters introduce the history of the discovery of the culture and its most important archaeological sites. Subsequent essays address a variety of important methodological issues related to the study of Erligang, including how to define the culture, the usefulness of cross-cultural comparative study, and the difficulty of reconciling traditional Chinese historiography with archaeological discoveries. The book closes by examining the role the Erligang civilization played in the emergence of the first bronze-using societies in south China and the importance of bronze studies in the training of Chinese art historians. The contributors are Robert Bagley, John Baines, Maggie Bickford, Rod Campbell, Li Yung-ti, Robin McNeal, Kyle Steinke, Wang Haicheng, and Zhang Changping.
- RRP £87.95
- Save £0.06
A gorgeous presentation devoted to the art of Japanese eroticism, drawn from the Honolulu Museum of Art's rare and distinguished collection. The Japanese paintings and prints called shunga (literally spring pictures) reflected the thriving sexual culture of early modern Japan and depicted with sensitivity and nuance the private lives of various social types, from courtesans and Kabuki actors to ordinary townspeople. Organized around a series of exhibitions at the Honolulu Museum of Art, this sumptuous volume presents art from the museum's vast holdings of ukiyo-e prints, woodblock-printed books, and paintings, particularly those originating from the collections of scholar Richard D. Lane and famed author James A. Michener. These fascinating works, dating from the seventeenth through the twentieth centuries, explore Japan's sexual culture (including issues of gender and the country's ever-evolving sex industry) with humour as well as a surprisingly sophisticated literary and art-historical approach. Sure to become a collector's item, this gorgeously designed publication offers stunning colour plates showcasing numerous and unusual examples of exquisite Japanese erotica. Texts by leading scholars of shunga and ukiyo-e complete this treasure album of a book.
- RRP £45.00
- Save £9.00
There is a vast collection of Indian natural history drawings in the Library of the Natural History Museum, London. Spanning a period of more than two hundred years, from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries, they depict the rich variety of animals, birds and insects to be found in India and the magnificent flora of the different regions. The Art of India presents many of these beautiful images, from fine botanical and zoological illustrations through to depictions of colourful artefacts and trinkets purchased in local markets. The artworks originate from a variety of sources that include individual artists and collectors, as well as organised studies of Indian natural history in the pursuit of science, commerce and politics. They were produced by European and Indian artists who worked to advance the understanding of Indian natural history by recording, describing, classifying and naming the flora and fauna of the country.
- RRP £12.99
- Save £2.60
Hokusai created sublime works during the last thirty years of his life, right up to his death at the age of ninety. Publications have hitherto presented his long career as a chronological sequence. This book takes a fresh approach based on innovative scholarship: thematic groupings of works are related to the major spiritual and artistic quests of Hokusai's life. Hokusai's personal beliefs are studied here through major brush paintings, drawings, woodblock prints and illustrated books. The book gives due attention to the contribution of Hokusai's daughter Eijo (Oi), an accomplished artist in her own right. Hokusai continually explored the mutability and minutiae of natural phenomena in his art. His late subjects and styles were based on a mastery of eclectic Japanese, Chinese and European techniques and an encyclopaedic knowledge of nature, myth, and history. Mount Fuji was the most significant model for Hokusai in his quest for immortality. This collection of Hokusai's works draws on the finest to be found in Japan and around the world, making this the most important publication for years on Hokusai, and a uniquely valuable overview of the artist's late career.
- RRP £35.00
- Save £7.00
Over the centuries, the elegance of Asian art has been a source of fascination and inspiration for artists and art lovers worldwide. This beautifully illustrated book, returning after some time out of print explores the diversity of art and artefacts from around Asia, detailing the subjects, the materials used in their making, and the lives of the artists and artisans who created them.
- RRP £14.99
- Save £3.00
craftsman working in a set tradition for a lifetime? What is the value of handwork? Why should even the roughly lacquered rice bowl of a Japanese farmer be thought beautiful? The late Soetsu Yanagi was the first to fully explore the traditional Japanese appreciation for objects born, not made.' Mr. Yanagi sees folk art as a manifestation of the essential world from which art, philosophy, and religion arise and in which the barriers between them disappear. The implications of the author's ideas are both far-reaching and practical. Soetsu Yanagi is often'
- RRP £30.00
- Save £6.00
Finnish-Swedish art historian Osvald Siren (1879-1966) was one of the pioneers of Chinese art scholarship in the West. This biography focuses on his four major voyages to East Asia: 1918, 1921-1923, 1929-1930, and 1935. This was a pivotal period in Chinese archaeology, art studies, and the formation of Western collections of Chinese art. Siren gained international renown as a scholar of Italian art, particularly with his books on Leonardo da Vinci and Giotto. Yet when he was almost forty years old, he became captivated by Chinese art (paintings of Lohans in the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston) to such an extent that he decided to start his career anew-in a way. He has left his mark in several fields in Chinese art study: architecture, sculpture, painting, and garden art. This study charts Siren's itineraries during his travels in Japan, Korea, and China. It introduces the various people in those countries as well as in Europe and North America who defined the field in its early stages and were influential as collectors and dealers. Since Siren was a theosophist, the book also explores the impact of theosophical ideas in his work.
- RRP £37.95
- Save £0.06
Renown British painter and printmaker Howard Hodgkin has been a passionate collector of Indian paintings since his schooldays, and his collection has long been considered one of the finest of its kind in the world. At times he has devoted as much effort to developing his collection as to his own work as a painter. The celebrated artist's full collection of great Mughal art is being presented for the first time at the Ashmolean Museum in an exhibition running from early February to mid-April 2011. The catalogue includes over 110 Indian paintings and drawings. "You need things to look at, things to affect your feelings, and your intelligence, and your heart" the artist has said. Many paintings shown are recent purchases never before exhibited revealing how Hodgkin has constantly refined the collection over the years. The collection comprises most of the main types of Indian court painting that flourished during the Mughal period (c.1550-1850), including the refined naturalistic works of the imperial Mughal court, the poetic and subtly coloured paintings of the Deccani Sultanates, the boldly drawn and vibrantly coloured styles of the Rajput kingdoms of Rajasthan and the Punjab Hills. Hodgkin's own art is collected worldwide in museums as diverse as the Tate and the Phillips Collection and Yale Center for British Art in America. In 2003, he was named by England's Queen Elizabeth II as a Companion of Honor. Hodgkin once said his collecting had affected him as an artist but "Not in the way people think", that collecting had made him "Very aware of quality, and increasingly demanding of my own work."
- RRP £25.00
- Save £2.51
This book, the latest work from one of Thailand's leading art historians, Piriya Krairiksh represents the culmination of 30 years research by the author and is sure to be a definitive account of Thai Art History and a major art reference book. It covers 700 years of Thai art history, and looks at both Buddhist and Hindi art from the 5th to 13th centuries. This extensive study incorporates paintings, pottery and architecture, and looks at the mythology surrounding each. The author has been granted access to many private collections, including that of HM The King of Thailand's own collection, as well other private collectors and also many museums. Never before has such a vast collection of items, many never before catalogued in book form, been collected in one place and placed within a contextual overview of the development of Thai Art. Lavishly illustrated with 600 colour illustrations, this work will be a must for all collectors, academics and students of Thai Art, as well as general readers who have an interest in Southeast Asian art. Full Glossary and index are included.
- RRP £35.00
- Save £7.00
For students of Chinese art and culture this anthology has proven invaluable since its initial publication in 1985. It collects important Chinese writings about painting, from the earliest examples through the fourteenth century, allowing readers to see how the art of this rich era was seen and understood in the artists' own times. Some of the texts in this treasury fall into the broad category of aesthetic theory; some describe specific techniques; some discuss the work of individual artists. Presented in accurate and readable translations, and prefaced with artistic and historical background information to the formative periods of Chinese theory and criticism. A glossary of terms and an appendix containing brief biographies of 270 artists and critics add to the usefulness of this volume.
- RRP £24.95
- Save £0.06
Chinese Art and the Reeves Collection is a selection of some of the finest examples of Chinese natural history drawings in the Natural History Museum's collections, many of which have never been published before. The book brings together a unique collection of botanical, zoological and entomological drawings depicting the natural history of China. Commissioned and collected during the early nineteenth century by John Reeves and his son, and now housed in the Natural History Museum, London, these outstanding images are important not only for their striking beauty but also for their scientific significance. Sent to China in 1812, John Reeves was a tea inspector for the East India Company and a keen amateur naturalist who commissioned hundreds of scientific drawings from local artists, which were then sent to Britain. Despite often being highly stylised, the images helped to further European knowledge of Chinese natural history during a time when access to the country was severely restricted. Through their dedicated and enthusiastic work, Reeves and his son helped pave the way for some of the great explorers and collectors that followed.
- RRP £12.99
- Save £2.60
In this first systematic introduction to contemporary Chinese art, Wu Hung provides an accessible, focused and much-needed narrative of the development of Chinese art across all media from the 1970s to the 2000s. From its underground genesis during the Cultural Revolution (1966-76), contemporary Chinese art has become a dynamic and hugely influential force in a globalized art world where the distinctions between Eastern and Western culture are rapidly collapsing. The book is a richly illustrated and easy-to-navigate chronological survey that considers contemporary Chinese art both in the context of Chinas specific historical experiences and in a global arena. Wu Hung explores the emergence of avant-garde or contemporary art as opposed to officially sanctioned art in the public sphere after the Cultural Revolution; the mobilization by young artists and critics of a nationwide avant-garde movement in the mid-1980s; the re-emphasis on individual creativity in the late 1980s, the heightened spirit of experimentation of the 1990s; and the more recent identification of Chinese artists, such as Ai Weiwei, as global citizens who create works for an international audience.
- RRP £60.00
- Save £9.81
Here is a concise and authoritative survey of the rich and complex arts of Japan, from the prehistoric period right up to the present, now with a new chapter on the latest developments and trends in Japanese art, including manga and anime, and discussion of world-famous artists, architects and photographers such as Nakaya Fujiko, Yayoi Kusama, Yoko Ono, Ando Tadao and Daido Moriyama. Throughout, the author selects the finest examples to illustrate the story and puts the art into its historical, political and cultural context, providing a greater understanding for both students and those new to the subject, and offering an essential guide to the distinctive arts of Japan.
- RRP £9.95
- Save £0.06
This landmark study is the first comprehensive exploration of the Proportioned Script, an Arabic writing system attributed to the Abbasid wazir (minister) Ibn Muqla and the master scribe Ibn al-Bawwab that has dominated the art of Arabic and Islamic penmanship from the 10th century to the present day. Volume One, Sources and Principles of the Geometry of Letters, traces the origin of the Proportioned Script to the cross-cultural encounter between Greek learning and the scientific, artistic and philosophical pursuits of classical Islam. On the basis of instructions in surviving sources it identifies a grid module that serves as a common foundation for the design of all the Arabic letter shapes. In Volume Two, From Geometric Pattern to Living Form, the authors construct each of the letter shapes on the grid module and compare their findings to samples traced by two classical master scribes. They conclude by examining the religious, aesthetic and cosmological significance of the Proportioned Script in the wider context of the Islamic cultural heritage. Drs Moustafa and Sperl have succeeded in unearthing the very foundations of Arabic penmanship, with implications for the arts of Islam as a whole.
- RRP £95.00
- Save £17.31
Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858) is one of the best known of all Japanese woodblock print designers. He is particularly renowned for his landscape prints, which are among the most frequently reproduced of all Japanese works of art. Hiroshige's landscape prints were hugely successful both in Japan and in the West. Their unusual compositions, humorous depictions of people involved in everyday activities and masterly expression of weather, light and seasons, proved enormously influential on many leading European artists. Aimed at a general audience, this book illustrates and discusses 53 Hiroshige landscape prints in the Ashmolean Museum's collection and explores their historical background. It gives a concise introduction to Hiroshige's life and career within the context of Japan's booming nineteenth-century woodblock print industry and explores the development of the landscape print as a new genre in this period. It also discusses and illustrates the process and techniques of traditional Japanese woodblock print-making.
- RRP £15.00
- Save £1.51
Between 1885 and 1891 the Swiss pastor Wilfried Spinner sojourned in Japan on behalf of the East Asian mission. He founded the first Christian parishes in Tokyo and Yokohama and began to intensively teach there. However, his interest was also directed at local beliefs, which informed the everyday lives of the population. He brought back to Europe around eighty religious scrolls, comprising some painted hanging scrolls and numerous black-and-white prints (ofuda). Ofuda are paper amulets featuring representations of important deities, Buddhas and bodhisattvas, which were printed in and distributed from temples. Some of them additionally feature calligraphy, which was written by the monks in the presence of the pilgrims. They are evidence to their pilgrimage and accompany them onwards as protection and good luck charms. The recently discovered collection of Wilfried Spinner in the Ethnographic Museum at the University of Zurich covers a broad spectrum both figuratively and in content.
- RRP £38.00
- Save £3.91
An authoritative and wide-ranging visual essay on the aesthetics of Japan, now in a beautiful paperback edition. Japan Style, written by one of the world's most respected scholars of Japanese art and culture, defines what 'Japan style' is. It explores specific achievements in Japanese art and architecture, but also offers an in-depth analysis of the whole of Japanese culture, its vision of the world and of humankind. 'Japan style' is something recognizable to everyone: a beautifully arranged flower, an elegant piece of calligraphy or a simple rock garden, but it is also something that is very difficult to define. The book is divided into three main sections. In the first one ('Irregular Beauty'), the author delineates the different aspects of Japanese culture and draws interesting connections between art, architecture, religion, philosophy and mythology. For example, he explains the aesthetics of the tea ceremony and its relationship to Zen philosophy as well as other subjects such as the function of the void in mythology, Buddhism and the arts. The second part of the book ('A Feeling of Nature') follows a chronological path from ancient times to the present explaining more specifically how to interpret the different forms of Japanese art (literature, painting, sculpture, etc.). The third part of the book ('Art Masters') contains short monographs on Japanese masters in the history of Japanese art and culture: Zeami Moto, the creator of No theatre; Hokusai, the master of woodblock printing; Yasunai Kawabata and Mishima Yukio, the writers; and the graphic designer, Tanaka Ikko. Calza's groundbreaking and insightful text is accompanied by 150 colour images of a great variety of examples from Japanese art and culture.
- RRP £24.95
- Save £4.76
In this magnificent, lavishly illustrated book, renowned art historian B. N. Goswamy opens readers' eyes to the wonders of Indian painting, and shows them new ways of seeing art. An illuminating introductory essay, 'A Layered World', explains the themes and emotions that inspired famous painters, the values and influences that shaped their work, and the unique ways in which they depicted Time and Space. It describes, too, the different regional styles, the relationship between patrons and painters, the tools and techniques the painters used and the milieu in which they created their works. The second part of this book, 'Close Encounters with 101 Works', presents paintings carefully selected by Professor Goswamy, spanning nearly a thousand years and ranging from Jain manuscripts and Rajasthani, Mughal, Pahari and Deccani miniatures, to Company School paintings. His description and analysis of these works unlock the treasures that lie within them and show us how to 'read' each painting as he pours out its finest features, explains its visual vocabulary and symbolism, and recounts the story, legend or event that inspired it. Combining deep scholarship with great storytelling, this is a book of enduring value that will both educate and delight the reader.
- RRP £29.95
- Save £5.99
This ground breaking study examines decorative Chinese works of art and visual culture, known as chinoiserie, in the context of church and state politics, with a particular focus on the Catholic missions' impact on Western attitudes toward China and the Chinese. Art-historical examinations of chinoiserie have largely ignored the role of the Church and its conversion efforts in Asia. Johns, however, demonstrates that the emperor's 1722 prohibition against Catholic evangelization, which occurred after almost a century and a half of tolerance, prompted a remarkable change in European visualizations of China in Roman Catholic countries. China and the Church considers the progress of Christianity in China during the late Ming and early Qing dynasties, examines authentic works of Chinese art available to the European artists who produced chinoiserie, and explains how the East Asian male body in Western art changed from "normative" depictions to whimsical, feminized grotesques after the collapse of the missionary efforts during the 1720s.
- RRP £41.95
- Save £0.06
The idea that Japanese art is produced through rote copy and imitation is an eighteenth-century colonial construct, with roots in Romantic ideals of originality. Offering a much-needed corrective to this critique, Michael Lucken demonstrates the distinct character of Japanese mimesis and its dynamic impact on global culture, showing through several twentieth-century masterpieces the generative and regenerative power of Japanese arts. Choosing a representative work from each of four modern genres-painting, film, photography, and animation-Lucken portrays the range of strategies that Japanese artists use to re-present contemporary influences. He examines Kishida Ryusei's portraits of Reiko (1914-1929), Kurosawa Akira's Ikiru (1952), Araki Nobuyoshi's photographic novel Sentimental Journey-Winter (1991), and Miyazaki Hayao's popular anime film Spirited Away (2001), revealing the sophisticated patterns of mimesis that are unique but not exclusive to modern Japanese art. In doing so, Lucken identifies the tensions that drive the Japanese imagination, which are much richer than a simple opposition between progress and tradition, and their reflection of human culture's universal encounter with change. This global perspective explains why, despite its non-Western origins, Japanese art has earned such a vast following.
- RRP £49.95
- Save £0.06
A comprehensive and beautifully illustrated study of traditional Japanese erotic art. Poem of the Pillow and Other Stories examines the artistic developments of Japanese erotic art from the ukiyo-e period, dating from the mid-seventeenth century to the end of the nineteenth century. Known by the delicate euphemism of Shunga or 'spring images', these pictures were hugely popular and admired, and are today highly collectable works of art. This book illustrates major Shunga works from important ukiyo-e masters such as Utamaro, Hokusai, Harunobu, Kunisada, Kuniyoshi and many others. World-renowned scholar Gian Carlo Calza defines these fascinating erotic works in their social, historical and artistic context, providing a broad overview of a subject that is extremely nuanced and intriguing. Beautifully illustrated with over 300 images, including woodblock prints, scrolls and paintings, this book is a perfect introduction to ukiyo-e erotic art.
- RRP £24.95
- Save £4.99
This richly illustrated book showcases a previously unseen and virtually unknown historical collection of Chinese ceramics, formed in the early twentieth century by George Eumorfopoulos, a pivotal figure in the appreciate of Asian art. Taken together, these artifacts, now located at the Benaki Museum in Athens, Greece, build a rare time capsule of Western tastes and preoccupations with the East in the decades prior to World War II. The years between the collapse of the Qing dynasty in 1911 and the establishment of the People s Republic of China in 1949 marked an opening up of China to the rest of the world and coincided with the first archaeological excavations of the country s early cultures. Working at the time in London, a center of imperialist power and global finance, Eumorfopoulos and his colleagues were instrumental in acquiring, assessing, interpreting, and manipulating the unearthed objects. The years of isolation that followed this period allowed aspects of his approach to become canonical, influencing later scholarly research on Chinese material culture.This groundbreaking exploration of approximately one hundred artifacts is not only an important account of Eumorfopoulos s work, but also a story about China and the West and the role antique materials played in their cultural interplay. "
- RRP £25.00
- Save £5.00