Arts of Yuan China,1200–1400

It took over sixty years and three generations of leaders for the Mongols to finally conquer China. Khubilai Khan concluded that conquest in 1279, but he had already proclaimed himself founder of the Yuan dynasty eight years earlier. China thus became part of the Great Mongol Khanate, which included Mongolia, Tibet, and Korea, amongst other regions. Although the Yuan empire lasted but a century, Mongol occupation had a profound impact on the craft industries in China. Luxury crafts in particular, such as silk weaving and goldsmithing, were transformed as a direct result of government policy. New state workshops were established and staffed with international craftsmen. This class will carefully examine materials produced for and consumed by the foreign elites. But we also focus on crafts for Chinese consumers and study how they fared under Mongol rule. These include lacquer work, bronze casting, ceramics, painting, and silversmithing. In order to understand the Mongol legacy, we also look at the three decades after the fall of the Yuan dynasty. 3 credits. Satisfies the geocultural or chronological requirements.