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  • Thumbnail for Painting of chrysanthemums (detail of the flowers)
    Painting of chrysanthemums (detail of the flowers) by Ch’i Pai-shih (Qi Baishi) (1863-1957)

    (Part of a set of four) Qi Baishi (1863-1957) is perhaps China’s most revered master of the twentieth century. These four paintings are representative of Qi’s floral, fruit and aquatic subjects. The cascading forms, bright colors and strong sense of abstract design in the compositions are characteristic of his style.

  • Thumbnail for Painting of a squash vine (detail of squash)
    Painting of a squash vine (detail of squash) by Ch’i Pai-shih (Qi Baishi) (1863-1957)

    (Part of a set of four) Qi Baishi (1863-1957) is perhaps China’s most revered master of the twentieth century. These four paintings are representative of Qi’s floral, fruit and aquatic subjects. The cascading forms, bright colors and strong sense of abstract design in the compositions are characteristic of his style.

  • Thumbnail for Popular woodblock prints: pair of military door gods (1)
    Popular woodblock prints: pair of military door gods (1)

    Colored woodblock prints of popular images are associated with popular religious beliefs and ceremonies mostly observed at Chinese lunar New Year. Images of protective, military door gods (in pairs) were replaced on the front, street doors each year at New Year’s time to prevent evil from entering the house.

  • Thumbnail for Imperial bronze bell (side detail)
    Imperial bronze bell (side detail)

    This bell is dated by the inscription in a cartouche as having been made in the 50th year of the reign of Emperor Kangxi, i.e. 1711. The bell was evidently meant to be part of a larger set of bells, thus it represents a continuation of the ancient practice of producing sets of bells that were suspended from a rack. Each bell was specifically manufactured to produce a particular note in the Chinese musical scale. The inscription on the opposite side of the bell has three characters indicating which musical note the bell produces when struck. In addition, this bell is an excellent example of superior quality, imperial level bronze casting.

  • Thumbnail for Painting of shrimp
    Painting of shrimp by Ch’i Pai-shih (Qi Baishi) (1863-1957)

    (Part of a set of four) Qi Baishi (1863-1957) is perhaps China’s most revered master of the twentieth century. These four paintings are representative of Qi’s floral, fruit and aquatic subjects. The cascading forms, bright colors and strong sense of abstract design in the compositions are characteristic of his style.

  • Thumbnail for Shadow puppet (set of 3)
    Shadow puppet (set of 3)

    These shadow puppets represent one of the traditional Chinese crafts. They also represent one of the popular-level puppet theater traditions in China (the others being hand puppets and string puppets). The shadow puppets are cut and carved out of thin sections of hide, which is then given coatings of color. These examples are in pristine condition and retain their brilliant colors. One of the shadow puppets wears a Manchu headdress and Manchu platform shoes. The treatment of the eye sockets suggests that these puppets were made in the Beijing area

  • Thumbnail for Pair of platform shoes worn by Manchu women (front and bottom)
    Pair of platform shoes worn by Manchu women (front and bottom)

    Shoes for bound feet of Chinese women contrast with the “platform†shoes worn by Manchu women, who did not bind their feet. These platform shoes, it is said, enabled Manchu women to imitate the seductive sway of Chinese women with bound feet. The decoration on these shoes is appliqué, not embroidery.

  • Thumbnail for Red shoes for bound feet (side detail)
    Red shoes for bound feet (side detail)

    Pair of embroidered shoes for bound feet of Chinese women: would appear to come from South China.

  • Thumbnail for Light green shoes for bound feet (front and bottom)
    Light green shoes for bound feet (front and bottom)

    Pair of embroidered shoes for bound feet of Chinese women: would appear to come from South China.

  • Thumbnail for Painting of a squash vine
    Painting of a squash vine by Ch’i Pai-shih (Qi Baishi) (1863-1957)

    (Part of a set of four) Qi Baishi (1863-1957) is perhaps China’s most revered master of the twentieth century. These four paintings are representative of Qi’s floral, fruit and aquatic subjects. The cascading forms, bright colors and strong sense of abstract design in the compositions are characteristic of his style.

  • Thumbnail for Silk embroider depicting Ouyang Hai pushing an artillery-laden horse off the tracks before an oncoming train (detail horse's face)
    Silk embroider depicting Ouyang Hai pushing an artillery-laden horse off the tracks before an oncoming train (detail horse's face) by Yang Shengrong

    Silk embroidery is today supported by the Chinese government. As in the past, it is not unusual for an existing painting to be copied in embroidery. In this instance, the painting represents one of the mythical heroes of the Peoples Liberation Army (PLA), Ouyang Hai. He reputedly shoved a frightened horse laden with artillery off the tracks in front of an oncoming train. During the Cultural Revolution (1966-1975), PLA heroes, actual or fictitious, became part of the government propaganda machine and were to serve as role models for the people. To advertise their heroic deeds, they were commemorated in all artistic media: paintings, prints, sculptures. This particular depiction of Ouyang Hai was originally created as a painting in 1964 by Yang Shengrong.

  • Thumbnail for Shadow puppet (set of 3)
    Shadow puppet (set of 3)

    These shadow puppets represent one of the traditional Chinese crafts. They also represent one of the popular-level puppet theater traditions in China (the others being hand puppets and string puppets). The shadow puppets are cut and carved out of thin sections of hide, which is then given coatings of color. These examples are in pristine condition and retain their brilliant colors. One of the shadow puppets wears a Manchu headdress and Manchu platform shoes. The treatment of the eye sockets suggests that these puppets were made in the Beijing area

  • Thumbnail for Ceramic tomb figure of woman on horseback (detail)
    Ceramic tomb figure of woman on horseback (detail)

    This tomb figure, probably dating from the early Tang dynasty (7th century), is evidence of a time in China when women were granted great personal freedoms, including riding on horseback. This contrasts with restrictions placed on women in later periods when they were, in theory, to be confined to the house, a constraint furthered by the practice of binding the feet of Chinese women.

  • Thumbnail for Popular woodblock prints: pair of military door gods (2)
    Popular woodblock prints: pair of military door gods (2)

    Colored woodblock prints of popular images are associated with popular religious beliefs and ceremonies mostly observed at Chinese lunar New Year. Images of protective, military door gods (in pairs) were replaced on the front, street doors each year at New Year’s time to prevent evil from entering the house.

  • Thumbnail for Popular woodblock prints: pair of auspicious boys (2)
    Popular woodblock prints: pair of auspicious boys (2)

    Colored woodblock prints of popular images are associated with popular religious beliefs and ceremonies mostly observed at Chinese lunar New Year. Prints depicting boys wheeling in riches by the wheelbarrow load expressed wishes for accumulated wealth in the family and were appropriate decorations for interior doors.

  • Thumbnail for Woman’s coat (front detail)
    Woman’s coat (front detail)

    This garment with the accompanying skirt are typical of the late 19th – early 20th century feminine fashions. A lithographed print by the late 19th century Shanghai artist Wu Youru depicts two women wearing such garments posing in a photographer’s studio.

  • Thumbnail for Bronze ding vessel
    Bronze ding vessel

    This is a standard example of the most popular and enduring bronze vessel shapes. It is an excellent example of mould casting. Normally, the design on the lid of an ancient bronze vessel matches that on the body of a vessel. Here, the decoration on the lid does not repeat that of the body; nor does the lid fit securely on the vessel. These two discrepancies indicate that this lid does not belong to this specific vessel. Bronze lids with similar three projecting prongs have been found in tombs in Sandong and Henan Provinces; the vessels they belong to are considered to date from the Eastern Zhou period (722-256 BC). The surface decoration of interlaced designs both the body and the lid are typical for this period.

  • Thumbnail for Light green shoes for bound feet (side)
    Light green shoes for bound feet (side)

    Pair of embroidered shoes for bound feet of Chinese women: would appear to come from South China.

  • Thumbnail for Silk embroider depicting Ouyang Hai pushing an artillery-laden horse off the tracks before an oncoming train (detail horse)
    Silk embroider depicting Ouyang Hai pushing an artillery-laden horse off the tracks before an oncoming train (detail horse) by Yang Shengrong

    Silk embroidery is today supported by the Chinese government. As in the past, it is not unusual for an existing painting to be copied in embroidery. In this instance, the painting represents one of the mythical heroes of the Peoples Liberation Army (PLA), Ouyang Hai. He reputedly shoved a frightened horse laden with artillery off the tracks in front of an oncoming train. During the Cultural Revolution (1966-1975), PLA heroes, actual or fictitious, became part of the government propaganda machine and were to serve as role models for the people. To advertise their heroic deeds, they were commemorated in all artistic media: paintings, prints, sculptures. This particular depiction of Ouyang Hai was originally created as a painting in 1964 by Yang Shengrong.

  • Thumbnail for Silk embroider depicting Ouyang Hai pushing an artillery-laden horse off the tracks before an oncoming train
    Silk embroider depicting Ouyang Hai pushing an artillery-laden horse off the tracks before an oncoming train by Yang Shengrong

    Silk embroidery is today supported by the Chinese government. As in the past, it is not unusual for an existing painting to be copied in embroidery. In this instance, the painting represents one of the mythical heroes of the Peoples Liberation Army (PLA), Ouyang Hai. He reputedly shoved a frightened horse laden with artillery off the tracks in front of an oncoming train. During the Cultural Revolution (1966-1975), PLA heroes, actual or fictitious, became part of the government propaganda machine and were to serve as role models for the people. To advertise their heroic deeds, they were commemorated in all artistic media: paintings, prints, sculptures. This particular depiction of Ouyang Hai was originally created as a painting in 1964 by Yang Shengrong.

  • Thumbnail for Painting of shrimp (detail of shrimp)
    Painting of shrimp (detail of shrimp) by Ch’i Pai-shih (Qi Baishi) (1863-1957)

    (Part of a set of four) Qi Baishi (1863-1957) is perhaps China’s most revered master of the twentieth century. These four paintings are representative of Qi’s floral, fruit and aquatic subjects. The cascading forms, bright colors and strong sense of abstract design in the compositions are characteristic of his style.

  • Thumbnail for Painting of a branch of loquats
    Painting of a branch of loquats by Ch’i Pai-shih (Qi Baishi) (1863-1957)

    (Part of a set of four) Qi Baishi (1863-1957) is perhaps China’s most revered master of the twentieth century. These four paintings are representative of Qi’s floral, fruit and aquatic subjects. The cascading forms, bright colors and strong sense of abstract design in the compositions are characteristic of his style.

  • Thumbnail for Shadow puppet (set of 3)
    Shadow puppet (set of 3)

    These shadow puppets represent one of the traditional Chinese crafts. They also represent one of the popular-level puppet theater traditions in China (the others being hand puppets and string puppets). The shadow puppets are cut and carved out of thin sections of hide, which is then given coatings of color. These examples are in pristine condition and retain their brilliant colors. One of the shadow puppets wears a Manchu headdress and Manchu platform shoes. The treatment of the eye sockets suggests that these puppets were made in the Beijing area

  • Thumbnail for Woman’s coat (front)
    Woman’s coat (front)

    This garment with the accompanying skirt are typical of the late 19th – early 20th century feminine fashions. A lithographed print by the late 19th century Shanghai artist Wu Youru depicts two women wearing such garments posing in a photographer’s studio.

  • Thumbnail for Woman’s coat (back)
    Woman’s coat (back)

    This garment with the accompanying skirt are typical of the late 19th – early 20th century feminine fashions. A lithographed print by the late 19th century Shanghai artist Wu Youru depicts two women wearing such garments posing in a photographer’s studio.