A HISTORY OF ORIENTAL
& EASTERN ART
● Oriental Ar t is a major branch of Ar t
● Pieces commonly include:
o Graphic Art
● The Origins of Oriental Ar t include Rel igion,
Pol itics, Phi losophy, Culture and Technology.
● Originated as early “stone ar t”
in around 10,000 BC -
comprising mainly Pottery and
● Early works were based on
Chinese settlers’ Religious
and Supernatural beliefs.
● Ear ly ar twork was used to depict people and
● They were commonly found as decorat ions
for human bur ial si tes.
● Landscapes par t icularly rose to prominence
dur ing the Five Dynast ies between 907 AD
and 1127 AD.
● To create minimal ist brush st rokes a thin
brush was used and dipped in coloured ink.
● More colour ful ar t was produced dur ing
late imper ial China between 1368 AD to
● Qing Dynasty saw r ise of Or thodox school
wi th older styles of thin brush cal l igraphy
and Individual ist painters wi th a more
revolut ionar y approach.
● Communist Revolut ion of 1949 created
new era of Chinese Ar t
● Modern Chinese ar t includes new forms of
expression such as photography and video
● Originates from the First Dynasty in
● Among the most renowned, best
preserved and largest examples of
these is the Terracotta Army; a
col lection of figurines bui lt for
Emperor Qin Shi Huang and buried
● They represented protection for him in
the af terlife.
● This star ted an era of miniature
figures being sculpted to
accompany dead people in their
● This classically dates back to the
Tang Dynasty between 618 AD
and 907 AD.
● Pottery dates back Palaeolithic
era - pre-dating Dynasties
● Star ted being made on an
industrial scale when popularity
of and ease of construction
● Rulers requested Pottery to be
used as Gif ts and Trade
● Simi larly to Chinese Ar t, Japanese Ar t
dates back to around 10,000 BC.
● Captures a wide variety of styles such
as ink painting, pottery and sculpture.
● Japan has taken many foreign
influences to create its existing culture
● Painting is a traditional Japanese
ar t form, originating from stick
figures to i l lustrate si lk, pottery
● J a p an’ s fi r s t c i v i l izat io n mo u l d ed
and painted pottery and clay
● Later settlers in around 350 BC
brought knowledge and Bronze
Manufacturing and Decoration.
● The rise of Buddhism in the East in
the 7th and 8th centuries taught
Japan enhanced bronze-casting
● Sculptures of Buddha were popular
around this time but phased out
because of opposition from
Buddhist temples and Japanese
nobi l ity
● Picture scrol ls grew in popularity
af ter 1130 BC.
● These were pictorial stories
i l lustrating men and women.
● Kamakura was also a popular
period of Japanese ar t with
sculpture, cal l igraphy and painting
between 1180 and 1333 AD.
● The Muromachi per iod between 1338 and
1573 saw ar t become more el i t ist and
ar istocrat ic.
● Conservat ive colours were used - black and
whi te - and single colours were common.
● Secular ar t began to dominate when China
and Japan star ted to dr i f t apar t .
● Af ter 1477 Japan lost interest in sculpture
which resul ted in rel igion playing a less
signi f icant role.
● Western culture and ar tistic values had
imprinted on Japanese culture by the
star t of the 20th century.
● A dichotomy was created between these
new western styles and a desire to
rever t back to traditional conservative
ar t forms.
● Japanese Anime was born af ter World
War I I alongside American comic books
and car toons
● 676 AD saw Korea become completely
independent of China and led to a
boom in Korean Ar t.
● Despite this, ar t of Korea has been
heavily influenced by Chinese Ar t and
vice versa; strengthening and widening
respective ar tistic styles.
● Buddhism played a key role in ar tistic
● Some of the best Buddhist ar t is
understood to have been produced
between 676 and 935 AD dur ing the
Uni fied Si l la per iod.
● The Joseon Dynasty in 1392 began a
cul tural renaissance in Korea - introducing
Neo-Confucianism which featured secular
ar t and cul ture.
● The 15th and 16th centur ies saw classical
ar t reint roduced.
● Paint ing styles in this era included
landscapes wi th nostalgic places and
mountain scenes wi th clouds and t rees.
● Ink was used commonly to highl ight the
cont rast between l ight and dark; as wel l
as ceramics, stoneware and porcelain.
● Paint ing was the most popular ar t form in
the 20th centur y - par t icularly abst ract
paint ing f rom the 1930s onwards
Korean monochrome paintings grew in
popularity in the 1970s and 1980s
which challenged pre-conceived ideas
about ink and oil painting.
THE MODERN EAST ASIAN ART
● Chinese Ar t is one of the biggest sel lers
on the international scene.
● Paintings, Pottery and Sculptures fetch
high prices among col lectors, with
Chinese buyers increasing in number.
● This means that more East Asian Ar t is
being sold at auction to private buyers;
reflecting the rise of middle-class Asia
and a desire to be more l ike the West.
For more information about upcoming Oriental &
Eastern Ar t Sales take a look at our calendar.
You can also contact us onl ine or cal l us:
o Oxford - 01865 241358
o Abingdon - 01235 462840
o Cheltenham - 01242 235712