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Eastern Art Online, Yousef Jameel Centre for Islamic and Asian Art

Ashmolean − Eastern Art Online, Yousef Jameel Centre for Islamic and Asian Art

Room 38 | China from AD 800 gallery

Explore key developments in the history and culture of China, from the arts and crafts of the Song Dynasty up to the present day.

China gallery

Introduction

Past Exhibition

see (1)

China is the size of a continent, and its national borders and ethnic composition have not always been the same as they are today. A single writing system gave a degree of cultural unity, enabling communication across time and distance.

Map of China. © Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford Map of China.

By the Song dynasty (AD 960-1279) the civil service exams opened positions of power to those beyond the ruling elite. Further change came with innovations in navigation, agriculture, mining and particularly printing, and through developments in political thought. Changes in the economy led to more widespread prosperity and greater social mobility.

China during the Song Dynasty (AD 960-1279). © Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford China during the Song Dynasty (AD 960-1279). China during the Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368). © Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford China during the Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368). China during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). © Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford China during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). China during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). © Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford China during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).

These Song dynasty transformations laid a foundation for culture and society over the next millennium. They influenced later scholars, collectors and consumers in ways that can be seen in many of the objects displayed in this gallery.

Scholar Official, 1775, Hubei province, by Min Zhen (1730-after 1788) (Museum no: EA1964.233.8). © Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford Scholar Official, 1775, Hubei province, by Min Zhen (1730-after 1788) (Museum no: EA1964.233.8). Page from a Song Dynasty exam text (printed in small format for convenient study). © Collection of the National Palace Museum, Taiwan Page from a Song Dynasty exam text (printed in small format for convenient study). River Landscape, 1966, China, by Zha Shibiao (1615-1698) (Museum no: EA1980.142). © Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford River Landscape, 1966, China, by Zha Shibiao (1615-1698) (Museum no: EA1980.142).
China building sketch. © Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford China building sketch.
Notice

Objects may have since been removed or replaced from a gallery. Click into an individual object record to confirm whether or not an object is currently on display. Our object location data is usually updated on a monthly basis, so contact the Jameel Study Centre if you are planning to visit the museum to see a particular Eastern Art object.

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