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General Introduction to Art in China


Admission requirements

Prerequisite: preferably BA1: Literatuur & Kunst van China.


This course introduces students to the social, religious, and artistic functions of art forms in China from the Bronze Age to the twentieth century. It pays special attention to the uses of works of art to define and represent an increasingly hierarchical society, and especially in their physical and social contexts (e.g. tomb, temple, court, literati’s garden and studio, city). Topics covered include: funerary art produced as part of the ritual dealing with the afterlife, art and imperial cosmology, the development and adaptation of religious arts, the rise of literati aesthetics, and the relationship between literati painting and calligraphy.

Course objectives

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  • Become familiar with major artifacts/sites and the social contexts in which they were produced;

  • Identify basic themes, media, and art practices in Chinese visual and material culture;

  • Develop a sense of artistic and cultural exchanges and appropriation across regions and traditions;

  • Apply effective methodological approaches to analyze topics of interest and formulate clear and coherent arguments.


See Timetable Chinastudies

Mode of instruction


Course Load

5 EC * 28 hours = 140 hours

  • Weekly seminars: 24 hours total

  • Class work (participation, assignments, and quizzes): 12 × 5 hours (60 hours total)

  • Research paper: 56 hours

Assessment method

  • Class work (Class participation and response, quizzes) 30%

  • Museum Report 20 %

  • Research essay 50%

Exam review

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.


Blackboard is usded in the course.
Students must self-enrol on Blackboard, which is used for posting syllabus, class communications, and essay submission.

Reading list

See blackboard.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.


Dr. Fan Lin