Chinese art and design are permeated by a connecting sense of the wholeness of all things. Its extensive vocabulary of design motifs is based on four timeless principles: spirit, rhythm, life, and movement. True Chinese design is never meaningless ornamentation. Its exquisitely beautiful combinations of blossoms and sprays, birds, animals, inscribed medallions, and symmetrical designs are artistic puzzles in which words and syllables are represented by pictures or symbols. When sounded in sequence, they become auspicious phrases and afford the solution to the puzzle.
Yet, aside from their inherent wisdom or sly humor, these designs of unusual zest and elegance demonstrate the aesthetic capabilities of one of the world’s richest artistic traditions. They are remarkable for their subtlety, finesse, spontaneity, and skill; but most importantly, for their enduring beauty. Modern-day artists and designers will find in these immortal designs fresh insight into today’s graphic and design challenges.
In this volume, noted artist Joseph D’Addetta offers his own careful and sensitive pen renderings of motifs taken from first-rate examples of Chinese objets d’art in leading museums and private collections. Included are motifs from ceramics, textiles, jade, lacquer, bronzes, and furniture beginning in approximately 1300 B.C. and continuing through the Qing dynasty, which lasted until the early twentieth century.
These 284 outstanding and royalty-free motifs are divided into eight categories: Flowers and Plants; Wave and Cloud Forms; Medallions; Horizontal Bands; Animal Life; Symbols; Allover Patterns; and Ceramic Objects. Dates of the dynasties and periods are provided, with names in both pin yin and Wade transcriptions.