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Browse History
Farming and Weaving Pictures in Ancient China
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Price: US$ 35.00
Farming and Weaving Pictures in Ancient China
中国古代耕织图
Language:  Chinese and English bilingual
Author:  Wang Chaosheng
Pub. Date:  1995-01 Weight:   kg ISBN:  
Format:  Hardcover Pages:  228 pages
Subject:  Technology > Agriculture > Agriculture General
Series:   Size:  185x260mm
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One of the prominent features of China's agricultural heritage lies in its ideograph system expressing things in images in tandem with a literal system. The only difference between the two is that whereas the written language, an information carrier reinforced with the invention and application of paper making and printing, developed very quickly and produced a huge amount of agricultural books, the images and pictures describing farming and weaving were relatively backward and slow to develop. We should not, however, take farming and weaving pictures simply as images to complement literal works. They are of significance in many aspects and worthy of extensive research. First, we should focus on their origin and their development from a crude implement to a refined and complex one which finally reaches the peak of completeness such as Lou Chou's"Geng Zhi Tu" (Pictures of Farming and Weaving ) of the Southern Song Dynasty. Secondly, we may research the historical background of the pictures, their impact on use in farm production and their influence overseas, such as on Japan and Korea.

 

Book Tells How the Land Lies (From China Daily)- Pictures record development of agricultural techniques

Farming and Weawing Pictures in Ancient China
published by China Agriculture Press, 228 pages

There is an old saying in China :"food is the God of the people." Food is a basic requirement of life, and so agriuclture plays an important art in the nation.
People who are interested in Chinese history may wonder: Since China has a long history of agri8vulture, how did the ancient people in China toil in the fields?What did they grow?Under the primitive and poor conditions , what kind of tools did they use and how did these tools evolve?

"Farming and Weaving Pictures in Ancient China ," a book with 413 ancient Chinese paintings about agricrlture explained in Chinese and English, mqy answer all those questions. With vivid pictures, you will be immersed in the long-disappeared working execes in the field.

The album is more like a gallery than a book because of the richness of the pictures , selected by Wang Chaosheng and his colleagues at the China Agricultural Museum.
The rubbigns, murals and drawings are arranged in chronological order, fro, the Warring States Period (475-221BC)to the Qing Dynasty (164401911).

One of the prominent features of China'd shricultural heritage lies in its pictorial heritage lies in its pictorial system---expressing things in images. As early as the Neolithic Age some 4000 years ago, there appeared on cliffs pictures reflecting primitive agriculture. Later, more complex images appeared on the ceramics, walls and ceilings before the Qin Dynasty (221-206BC) , and on the bricks and stones of the Han Dynasty (206BC-ad 220).Pictures alsr appeared on the walls of mausoleums in the wei and Jin Dynasties (AD220-420), in the walls and ceilings of the Tang(AD618-907)and Song (960-1279)dyaties, and in the books and records prior to and dyring the Ming (1368-1644)and Qign dynasties.

There are a great number of paintings, carvings and prints depicting farming, silkwormbreeding and animal husbandry in Chinese history.
With the development of production these pictures have brought forth new ideas.
This album is also useful to study the styles and development of ancient paintings and the agricultural policies of the time. For example, th eimages of farming themes dixcovered from the aWarring States period are mainly decorative pictures on bronze.
A bronze pot unearthed in Chengdu in Southwest China's sichuan Province, carries complicated patterns showing women picking mulberry leaves, men hunting animals, and birds with bows. The scenes of banquets, fishing and sowing are also vividly captured. In another bronze pot found in Central China's Henan Province, two tupes of mulberry trees are shown. One is as tall as a man, and the other comes to his shoulders. From these pictures of the Warring States period, experts judge that Chinese people had already cultivated tall mulberry trees and then faster-growing shorter ones. Most Han Dynasty pictures with farming as their main theme are stone or brick carvings in mausoleums. They highlight the progress of production techniques in farming , processing , sericulture, animal husbandry and fihsing.

With regard to tools, the paintings of stones and bricks stand as proof of the great progress made in farming tools.
It was through pictures that experts discovered evidence of the lou che, an animal -drawn drilling machine invented by the Han people.
Historical records said that three drilling "shares"are drawn by an ox with a man holding them and sowing seeds at the same time. This machine played an important part in enhancing sowiung quality and promoting farm production. It can be seen as the origin of the modern sowing machine.
Pictures of those times were still quites abstract. But from the Tang Dynasty , the pictures become more detailed and lifelike. The pictures reflecting agrioculture in the periods of the Tang Dynasty (AD 907-960)are mainly from grotto murals.
In the "Pictures of Farming and Harvesting "in the 445th grotto of Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes in Norhtwest China's Gansu Province , a man is shown driving tow oxen with a wooden bar on their necks, Holding a whip in his right hand, the man support a Crankshaft ploughs are an important landmark in the history of the development of farm ploughs in China, and were popular in Northwestern China in the Tang Dynasty.
Tang artist Zhang Xuan's "Dao Lian Tu"(Pictures of Silk Processing )depicts a complete scene of silk processing and manuacturing. The figures in the pidtures are plump an dexquisite.
All of the 12 females in various postures an dexpressions are portrayed vividly and remarkably true to life:the silk pounders holding a stidk or folding up sleeves; the silk menders adjusting the thread meticulously; the silk pullers bending backward forcibly;the furnace keeper warding off th eheat and an onlooker showing curiosity.
The Song Dynasty, an important period for the development of farming and weaving pictures in China , features the appearance of the "Pictures of Farming and Weaving ," a work of illustrative pictures with explanatory depicts the entire process of farming and sericulture production.
In the Qing Dynasty, because emperors since kangxi(reigned 1662-1722) all paid great attention to building up and disseminating agriculture, agricultural art thrived. Paintings of that time are extremely detailed and beautiful.Figures and objects are in correct proportions to one another.
"It was a lot of trouble to collect these pictures," said WangChaosheng, the book's chief editor and researcher of agriculture at the China aAgriculture Museum. "And it tool a long time , about six or seven years."
The pictues , murals and rubbings were scattered all over the xountry, and some were even found abroad.
A photo copy of Louy Shou's(1090--1162)"Pictures of Farming and Weaving "is included in this collection. The original work was first displayed in the Yuanmingyuan(the old Summer palace), before it was robbed by the eight allied countries invading China in 1900. It is now keptin a museum in the United States.
People may be curious about the title of the book---"The Farming and Weaving Pictures in ANcient China ." The book is about, paintings of agricultures, so why is "farming and weaving " in the title , and what is the relationship between farming and weaving?
Wang gave two explanations. One is that in CHinese villages, especially in Southern China, men did the farmign in the fields and women did the weaving at home , so people liked to use "farming and weaving "to symbolize agricultural acticities.
Another reason is that "pictures of farming and weaving " is a fixed term coming from LouShou's painting series of the same title.
Lou Shou, a magistrate of Yu qian County (today's Lin'an County in Zhejiang Province) first drew pictures of farming and weaving to describe the various links in the working procedures of farming and sericulture and reflect the general development of farming techniques in the Song Dynasty. Later, artists followed his route and "Pictures of Farming and Weaving " gradually became a set form in drawing agricultural works.
In its appendix , the book alsk has poems accomanying pictures of farming and weaving from the Southern Song Dynasty to the Qing Dynasty.
"It is the first book that systematically analyzes agrtcultureal history with plenty

 






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