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  • Thumbnail for Tang Yin portrait, full view
    Tang Yin portrait, full view by Signed 'Tang Yin'

    Chinese vertical scroll painting, likely a forgery; colors on silk, brocade frame mounted on paper, flush roller with brocade ends; image area 20.4 cm x 55.8 cm; subject Chang Hsien the archer, patron of child-bearing; birth of male child announced by hanging bow at door or gate, calligraphy, five seals. The subject matter does not match the artist’s inscription. Tang Yin is very well known for his versatility, including calligraphy, figures, and landscapes. He was also known for his literary talents and free-spirited lifestyle. His artistic reputation is reflected in many writings, including novels and dramas in later eras and his love of women is depicted in the performing arts and popular culture. Tang Yin was known as a commercial painter who sold his works and took commissions. Many of the extant works that bear his signature are forgeries. The artist of this painting displays a unique manner in his brushwork, with angular and edgy outlines that reflect the influence of Zhou Chen (still alive in the 1530s), another famous painter of Tang Yin’s era. Tang Yin originally studied painting with Zhou Chen, however Zhou Chen occasionally ghost-painted for Tang Yin due to the huge demand for Tang’s paintings. Another possibility is that the inscription of this painting was done by Tang Yin and the figure was done by Zhou Chen.

  • Thumbnail for Figures in a Garden
    Figures in a Garden by Qian, Hui'an

    Chinese hanging scroll with vertically-oriented painting; ink and colors on paper; image area 39.4 cm x 142.8 cm; brocade frame, mounted on paper with flush roller and brocade ends; subject bearded sage with staff, possibly Confucius or Lao Tzu, and woman standing on a bridge; calligraphy and seal.

  • Thumbnail for Street Drama, characters
    Street Drama, characters by Utagawa Kuniyoshi

    Horizontal Japanese Ukiyo-e print; two panels from probable triptych; black and polychrome woodblock print on paper; various seals of Kuniyoshi, including “Ichiyosai†(a style name of Kuniyoshi). Artist is known for his depictions of heroic episodes in Japanese history. In his later work he tended to have a taste for the bizarre and the ghoulish. His work is influenced by European models, and in this work, the background has some degree of vanishing-point perspective. The works of Kuniyoshi are collected by many museums around the world, including Metropolitan of New York, Boston, San Francisco, Cleveland, The British Museum London, and the Nelson-Atkins in Kansas City.

  • Thumbnail for Lake Biwa
    Lake Biwa by Shoda Koho

    One of two prints from the Hasegawa series, and in fact represent one of the aspects unique to the woodblock print process. Using exactly the same blocks, but inking them with different sets of colors, the printers were able to produce visions of the same scene at different times of day. Both prints feature a boat setting off with passenger and boatman (or woman, given the hair length) in the foreground, the Ukimido at Katata, on Lake Biwa, in the background, and a pine branch silhouetted above. This one shows a dawn of browns and grays, no stars, and no touches of red—the lanterns have gone out as the sun prepares to rise.

  • Thumbnail for Portrait, mid-section view
    Portrait, mid-section view by Unknown

    19th century portrait depicting a subject seated in a garden by a stream, chrysanthemum in a vase and a pine tree. The chrysanthemum in the vase symbolizes autumn while the pine tree represents longevity. The image area is 67cm x 130.5 cm and was made using Chinese ink and colors on paper in a silk mounting. The subject and artistic style are reminiscent of the famous artist, Ren Xiong (1820-1864). Ren Xiong and his family members were successful commercial painters in Shanghai and nearby regions and skilled in many subjects, including portraiture.

  • Thumbnail for After Hiroshige, full view of all 19 stages of the process
    After Hiroshige, full view of all 19 stages of the process by unknown

    A set of nineteen prints which illustrate the process of making a multi-block multicolor woodblock print.The print reproduced is the view of Asakusa Kinryuzan (Asakusa Kannon Temple) from Ando Hiroshige’s Toto yukimi hakkei (Eight Views of Snow in the Eastern Capital).

  • Thumbnail for Landscapes and Figures, travelers
    Landscapes and Figures, travelers by Ren Xun

    A finely detailed Chinese painting of an aged traveler and child which is part of a set of four related paintings. Ren Xun was the younger brother of Ren Xiong (1820-1864) and his family members were successful commercial painters in Shanghai and nearby regions and skilled in many subjects, including portraiture.

  • Thumbnail for Pipa Song
    Pipa Song by Jiang Yun

    Horizontal Chinese painting; ink and colors on paper; 38.8 cm x 24.3 cm; lady and lute on covered barge, only mast and lanterns of another barge are visible, with willow, pine, and blossoming trees. Jiang Yun’s painting was a token of friendship, responding to a friend’s request. The subject is based on the famous Tang era poem, Lyrics of the Pipa (Lute) by Bai Juyi (772-846 C.E.).

  • Thumbnail for Rainy Night at Kudan Hill, front view
    Rainy Night at Kudan Hill, front view by Kobayashi Eijir?

    From the Hasegawa series. Gray atmosphere pierced by the lighthouse above the slope, and lanterns carried by pedestrians and rickshaw drivers.

  • 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 After Hiroshige, front view stage 16
    After Hiroshige, front view stage 16 by unknown

    One of nineteen prints which illustrate the process of making a multi-block multicolor woodblock print.The print reproduced is the view of Asakusa Kinryuzan (Asakusa Kannon Temple) from Ando Hiroshige’s Toto yukimi hakkei (Eight Views of Snow in the Eastern Capital).

  • Thumbnail for After Hiroshige, front view stage 8
    After Hiroshige, front view stage 8 by unknown

    One of nineteen prints which illustrate the process of making a multi-block multicolor woodblock print.The print reproduced is the view of Asakusa Kinryuzan (Asakusa Kannon Temple) from Ando Hiroshige’s Toto yukimi hakkei (Eight Views of Snow in the Eastern Capital).

  • Thumbnail for After Hiroshige, front view stage 11
    After Hiroshige, front view stage 11 by unknown

    One of nineteen prints which illustrate the process of making a multi-block multicolor woodblock print. The print reproduced is the view of Asakusa Kinryuzan (Asakusa Kannon Temple) from Ando Hiroshige’s Toto yukimi hakkei (Eight Views of Snow in the Eastern Capital).

  • Thumbnail for Popular woodblock prints: kitchen god
    Popular woodblock prints: kitchen god

    Colored woodblock prints of popular images are associated with popular religious beliefs and ceremonies mostly observed at Chinese lunar New Year. The printed image of the Kitchen God was burned at New Year’s time to send him off to the Jade Emperor to report on the family; this report would determine the fortune of the family during the coming year. This Kitchen God print includes a calendar for the year 1949, a late survivor of the tradition.

  • 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 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 Popular woodblock prints: pair of auspicious boys (1)
    Popular woodblock prints: pair of auspicious boys (1)

    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 Lotus shoe for bound feet (arch detail)
    Lotus shoe for bound feet (arch detail)

    This shoe has never been worn, as the sole is intact and clean and its heels also bear nice needlework. Although the colors and fabrics have either faded or worn out, the stitching is refined. The motifs are often associated with auspicious symbolism (fertility) in addition to its aesthetic quality. The custom of women's foot-binding has been documented before the 10th century in China, and was officially abolished in the Qing dynasty (1645-1911). However, Chinese women continued to accept this torment as a social norm. The foot-binding custom was not completely extinguished until the 1950s and 60s in China under enforcement from Christian missionaries and foreign military in the 1890s.

  • Thumbnail for Blue Jambhala
    Blue Jambhala

    Blue Jambhala in his wrathful aspect, associated with the Aksobhya Buddhas, with mongoose in left hand, skull bowl in right, crowned by Aksobhya, standing on Kubera, who vomits jewels. A pot full of jewels sits in the deity's lotus throne. Jambhala, who appears in several colors and iconographic forms, is a deity for wealth, prosperity, and success. (De Mallman notes that Jambhala is sometimes included in the Ratnasambhava class)

  • Thumbnail for Ceremonial sword and sheath-front detail
    Ceremonial sword and sheath-front detail by Paiwan

    The ceremonial sword and sheath were important symbols of social status and male potency in traditional Paiwan culture in Taiwan. The sheath is decorated with human ancestral figures and a sacred mythological creature, the hundred-pace snake.

  • Thumbnail for Imperial bronze bell
    Imperial bronze bell

    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 Stucco head of Buddhist divinity
    Stucco head of Buddhist divinity

    This probably comes from a site (Hadda or Taxila) in present day Afghanistan. These pieces are noteworthy for their great antiquity. They display characteristics of a late Hellenistic visual language synthesized with that of contemporary northern India. Aside from their obvious historical and art historical significance, they could also be useful in broader academic discussions of processes we now call globalization in antiquity.

  • Thumbnail for Japanese women woodblock print
    Japanese women woodblock print by Yoshitsuma?

    9 13/16 x 14 5/16 Japanese wooblock print of women outside.

  • Thumbnail for Thai Seated Buddha sculpture
    Thai Seated Buddha sculpture

    13 x 4 1/2 x 3 bronze with gilt sculpture of a large hand from a seated Buddha in the Sukothai style.