Max Loehr And The Study Of Chinese Bronzes: Style And Classification In The History Of Art (Cornell East Asia Series)

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Max Loehr (1903–1988), the most distinguished historian of Chinese art of his generation, is celebrated above all for a 1953 art historical study of Chinese bronzes that effectively predicted discoveries Chinese archaeologists were about to make. Those discoveries in turn overthrew the theories of Loehr’s great rival Bernhard Karlgren (1889–1978), a Swedish sinologue whose apparently scientific us...

Series: Cornell East Asia Series (Book 141)
Paperback: 200 pages
Publisher: Cornell University - Cornell East Asia Series; First Edition, First Printing edition (February 28, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1933947411
ISBN-13: 978-1933947419
Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.8 x 11.8 inches
Amazon Rank: 785226
Format: PDF ePub fb2 djvu book

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Bagley is one of the preeminent scholars of Ancient China, concentrating on Chinese bronzes.Bagley is a student of Max Loehr, and follows the same philosophy as Loehr, that the decorations on Chinese bronzes developed from the formal side (the zoomor...

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fication and statistics had long dominated Western studies of the bronzes.Revisiting a controversy that was ended by archaeology before the issues at stake were fully understood, Robert Bagley shows its methodological implications to be profound. Starting with a close reading of the work of Karlgren, he uses an analogy with biological taxonomy to clarify questions of method and to distinguish between science and the appearance of science. Then, turning to Loehr, he provides the rationale for an art history that is concerned above all with constructing a meaningful history of creative events, one that sees the intentionality of designers and patrons as the driving force behind stylistic change. In a concluding chapter he analyzes the concept of style, arguing that many classic confusions in art historical theorizing arise from a failure to recognize that style is not a property of objects. Addressed not just to ancient China specialists or historians of Chinese art, this book uses Loehr’s work on bronzes as a case study for exploring central issues of art history. It will be of interest to anyone concerned with the analysis of visual materials.