According to Fred Kleiner, the Chinese civilization is “the only continuing civilization that originated in the ancient world” (pg. 47). The ancient Chinese did not squander this head start it possessed on the rest of the world towards a civilized society. Long before Christopher Columbus unknowingly set sail for islands off the coast of the North America mainland, the Chinese had long since developed and mastered new technologies unknown to the rest of the world. These technologies include such items as gunpowder, the mechanical ...
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...upper class were the only ones who commissioned porcelain ware, traders from the Silk Road began to desire these luxurious potteries. Taking them back to western European markets, and creating a new market focused on the wealthy. The extravagance only grew from there, as royalty and wealthy families began acquiring porcelain plates with beautifully painted oriental scenes (figure 4).
Although porcelain and the art placed upon them can be very beautiful, I do not believe the intention of porcelain pottery was to create an incredible piece of art. Porcelain can be made into any number of shapes. Why make dishes and water vases out of porcelain if they will never be used? I believe they symbolize a wealthy owner. What could possibly be another explanation for buying beautifully fragile dishware, which will never be used? Unfortunately, the trend continues today.
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