Chinese ancient art does not always feature Chinese characteristics. The art can be western with carefully carved western faces or decorated patterns, due to cultural exchanges through land and sea Silk Roads.
Some creative pieces can be found within the “Sailing Far and Wide on the Sea: Exhibition of Treasures from the Maritime Silk Road” at the Capital Museum in Beijing from April 25 to June 22, 2014.
Four sections of the show bring together important Maritime Silk Road remnants from seven coastal provinces in China, such as porcelain, statues, ornaments, and even a hand-painted map that rebuilds a glorious picture of thousands of miles of sea voyages ranging from ancient China to the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).
Let’s take a look at the Chinese ancient art with western styles that still considered beautiful to this day.
A Yue ware lion-shaped candlestick with blue glaze from the Western Jin Dynasty (265-316). It was unearthed at the cemetery of the Yang clan from the Western Jin Dynasty in Xintai, Shangdong province. The lion image is often seen on ancient Egypt carvings. In Buddhist culture, the lion is the animal god that protects and maintains Buddha. Lions originated in India, Southeast Europe and Africa, and during the Han Dynasty (206BC-AD220) they were introduced into China and gradually became the country’s most representative animal god. [Photo by Wen Yi/chinadaily.com.cn]
A silver bowl with Makara designs from the Tang Dynasty (618-907). It was unearthed from the tomb of Wang, wife of Chen Yuantong of the Tang Dynasty.
A Western person's figurine from the Southern and Northern Dynasties (420-581).
A tricolor-glazed pottery figurine from the Tang Dynasty (618-907).
A Changsha ware celadon ewer with a handle and brown appliqué design from the Tang Dynasty (618-907). It was unearthed from a Tang tomb in Zhuangyi village, Zhuangyuan township, Longwan district, Wenzhou in June 1980.