Revering Antiquity

“I transmit (the ways of old), rather than create, I believe in and love the ancients.”
Confucius (551-479 B.C.E.), The Analects 7, 1.



References to the past are a fundamental aspect of Chinese culture and are constantly manifest in the arts. Deliberate archaisms, historical allusions, and antiquarian themes were means the artist used to endow the work with cultural legitimacy. Likewise the possession of such objects allowed the collectors to express their own intellectual refinement and fluency. Such works of art are monuments to the continuity of Chinese tradition and an appreciation of a distant past.