Chinese Symbolism and Art Motifs Fourth Revised Edition

Current Stock:
Tuttle Publishing
Date Published:
over 400 b&w illustrations
Number of Pages:
Trim Size:
6 X 9

Written with reader accessibility in mind, this comprehensive handbook of symbolism in Chinese art and culture will be an invaluable resource for any student of Eastern art history, Chinese arts and crafts, and anyone interested in commonly held Chinese beliefs and their origins.

In Chinese Symbolism & Art Motifs Fourth Edition, scholar C.A.S. Williams offers concise explanations of the essential symbols and motifs relevant to Chinese literature, arts & crafts, and architecture. This reference book has been a standard among students of Chinese culture and history since 1941 and, in its Fourth Edition, has been completely reset with Pinyin pronunciation of Chinese names and words.

Organized alphabetically, enhanced by over 400 illustrations, and clearly written for accessibility across a variety of fields, this book not only explains symbols and motifs essential to any designer, art collector, or historian, but delves into ancient customs in religion, food, agriculture, and medicine.

Some of the symbols and motifs explicated are:
  • The Eight Immortals
  • The Five Elements
  • The Dragon
  • The Phoenix
  • Yin and Yang
With Chinese Symbolism & Art Motifs, you can access hidden insights into the intentions behind works of Chinese craftsmanship, and the thorough explanations of each symbol accompanied by the historical origins from which they arose. It will complement your existing knowledge of any area of Chinese culture, or help you confidently explore new topics within the realm of Asian art and history.

About the Author:
Charles Alfred Speed Williams was a distinguished British scholar who spent most of his active life in China. He served as Acting Commissioner in Charge of Maritime Customs in Peking, Examiner in Mandarin for Hong Kong University and Lecturer at Chiaotung University.