Brill’s Encyclopedia of China

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(1,128 words)

For centuries, some branches of Chinese crafts (gongyi meishu) had a great influence on European crafts. All traditions of crafts had in common that they were labor-intensive, required a high degree of technical mastery, and that their products were specifically intended for the Chinese imperial court and the literati. Painting and calligraphy were both highly regarded art forms in Chinese culture, but porcelain, enamel, sculptures, and carvings made of jade, ivory, or other materials, also played an important role as collector's items. Silk textiles were the first high-quali…

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Zorn, Bettina, “Crafts”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of China, Managing Editor English Edition: Daniel Leese. Consulted online on 01 March 2024 <>
First published online: 2008
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004168633, 20121018

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