What Is the History of Chinese Art?

Art|Art History

Chinese art is an important part of Chinese culture. It has been around for thousands of years, and is one of the oldest continuous traditions in the world.

Chinese art can be divided into two main categories: classical and modern.

Classical Chinese Art

The earliest examples of classical Chinese art date back to about 4,000 BC. During this period, art was mainly used for religious purposes and consisted of pottery figures, jades, bronzes, and carvings.

Over time, the art became more varied and sophisticated as new techniques were developed. The most famous classical Chinese art form is painting, which dates back to the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD). These paintings typically featured landscape scenes with rivers and mountains along with other natural elements like trees and birds.

Modern Chinese Art

The modern era of Chinese art began in the early 20th century when Western influences began to shape the artistic landscape in China. One of the major influences was Cubism which had a profound effect on many artists who experimented with different styles such as impressionism, expressionism, abstract expressionism, and surrealism.

Some of the most famous modern Chinese artists include Zhang Daqian (1899-1983), Xu Beihong (1895-1953), and Pan Tianshou (1897-1971).


Chinese art has a long history of development over thousands of years. It started out as a primarily religious form of art in ancient times but has since evolved into a diverse range of styles influenced by both traditional and modern techniques. From classical paintings to modern abstract works, Chinese art continues to be an important part of culture today.