Imperial Tombs in Tang China, 618-907
The Politics of Paradise
Routledge – 2005 – 192 pages
Intellectually and visually stimulating, this important landmark book looks at the religious, political, social and artistic significance of the Imperial tombs of the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD). It traces the evolutionary development of the most elaborately beautiful imperial tombs to examine fundamental issues on death and the afterlife in one of the world's most sophisticated civilizations. Selected tombs are presented in terms of their structure, artistic programs and their purposes. The author sets the tombs in the context of Chinese attitudes towards the afterlife, the politics of mausoleum architecture, and the artistic vocabulary which was becoming the mainstream of Chinese civilization.
Introduction Part 1: Place, Form and Function 1. Ambition and Archetype 2. Li Xian's Tomb 3. Relative Status 4. Builders and Painters 5. Passages of Rites Part 2: Visions of Kingdoms 6. Palatial Quarters 7. Pleasures and Protocols 8. Courtly Women Conclusion Index
Tonia Eckfeld is Senior Fellow in Art History and Asian Studies at the University of Melbourne. She lectures internationally on the art and architectural history of China, India and Japan. She has conducted extensive research throughout Asia, and has received numerous academic awards, including a research fellowship to Harvard.