For the fourth edition of his much-heralded The Arts of China, last published in 1984, Michael Sullivan has thoroughly revised and expanded this classic history of Chinese art from the Neolithic period to the 1990s. He draws on archaeological discoveries in the last two decades of the twentieth century that have enriched scholars' understanding of both prehistoric and ancient Chinese civilizations. At the same time, research on more recent dynasties has led to fresh interpretations of well-documented historical events and artworks. Also, China's dramatic opening to the outside world since the 1980s has triggered an explosion of contemporary Chinese art, on which Sullivan is the foremost Western authority. [via]
Written in the engaging and lucid style that is Sullivan's hallmark, The Arts of China is readily accessible to general readers as well as serious students of art history. Discussing more than three millennia of Chinese artistic endeavor, Sullivan introduces not only artworks, but also the social, political, religious, and philosophical contexts in which they were created.
This fourth edition has more than 380 illustrations; many are new and nearly half are in color. With this edition Sullivan has abandoned the Wade-Giles system of romanization in favor of the official Chinese Pinyin, now widely accepted by Western readers. These improvements assure that The Arts of China will remain the most comprehensive and widely read introduction to the history of Chinese art.