Unknown Masterpieces from Han Tradition to Tang Elegance (25-907)
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200 artistic masterpieces of China’s golden age, many published here for the first time. China at the Court of the Emperors presents almost 200 masterpieces coming from 32 museums and institutes in Shaanxi, Henan, Gansu, and Jiangsu provinces, many of them never seen in the West before, and examines the vast period from the Eastern Han dynasty (25-220) through the Tang (618-907), during which Chinese civilisation underwent radical transformation. The interval of time between the fall of the Eastern Han and China’s reunification under the Sui dynasty (581-618) is traditionally considered as a ‘dark’ period of unrest in which the country was politically and culturally divided between north and south, east and west. Nevertheless, recent archaeological excavations and new studies are demonstrating that in reality this period of Chinese history was far from being a cultural desert and rather represented a moment of regeneration and flowering of the arts, culminating in the Tang civilisation, traditionally defined as China’s Golden Age.