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Ancient Art
Ancient Art

Early "stone age art" dates back to 10,000 BC, mostly consisting of simple pottery and sculptures. After this early period Chinese art, like Chinese history, is typically classified by the succession of ruling dynasties of Chinese emperors, most of which lasted several hundred years.

Chinese art has arguably the oldest continuous tradition in the world. The media that have usually been classified in the West since the Renaissance as the decorative arts are extremely important in Chinese art, and much of the finest work was produced in large workshops or factories by essentially unknown artists, especially in the field of Chinese porcelain. Much of the best work in ceramics, textiles and other techniques was produced over a long period by the various Imperial factories or workshops, which as well as being used by the court was distributed internally and abroad on a huge scale to demonstrate the wealth and power of the Emperors. In contrast, the tradition of ink wash painting, practiced mainly by scholar-officials and court painters especially of landscapes, flowers, and birds, developed aesthetic values depending on the individual imagination of and objective observation by the artist that are similar to those of the West, but long pre-dated their development there.