Sample Art Essay Paper on Art History

Art History

In the traditional Chinese society, the artwork was perceived to be one of the major activities mainly in the Shang’s dynasty. Potteries among other metal working processes were prevalent in that era. Bronze being a major material used in the artwork, the techniques and material used are clearly discussed in this essay.

Casting operation requires a mould to make the required shape. The material mainly used in this casting operation included clay, wax, and the inner core. Completion of the operation incorporated many design processes to make the required shape e.g. a cat. The material played a big role in determining the quality and use of the material to cast. For instance, when using bronze to make a cup, the cup looked appealing to the user and lasted longer in comparison with other material. Skills and techniques at hand determined the complexity and simplicity of the object be made. In lost-wax process, the shapes were simply formed, wax put on it to form the precise shape and a mould of clay placed on it. Later, the wax was melted, and the mold put in an upside down so that bronze could be poured into the cavity.

In the Fang-Yi model, clay mould was erected in fitted sections to accelerate easier removal and reassembling around the core. The decoration was high in this type of artwork. Another technique used is the section-mould technique as argued by Davidson, which assisted in decorating and carving inner parts by making lines in the inner part of the mould. Scholars note that some of the complex shapes were formed by casting different parts and then joining them into one mould such as the four ram Zun. These techniques of casting had mould marks to show boundaries of casting. These mould-marks were seen to be weak points by writers and were said to be defects in the casting methods, but this may not be the case. The Shang’s caster thus added flanges not necessarily to reduce the defects, but they were put in places where the marks could be easily grounded.

Bagley understands artistic freedom in this easy by showing different artistic casting methods such as the lost wax method and the section-mould method that he both explains their use in the Shang’s bronze casting and explains with archaeological evidence of the two methods. He continues by showing different objects made by artists thus showing that they had the freedom to make different objects and different complex shapes with the aid of design processes. On the other hand, he understands the constraint by explaining of the defects in moulding and how these defects were eliminated by use of flanges at times but not always. In some cases, the casters had the problem with emphasizing boundaries.

Shang can be referred to as patron since he was a wealthy person who supported artists. It is because many of the archaeological discoveries in Anyang where the ruler body was buried shows that he supported much of this artwork. His role as the ruler was to ensure that bronze and other casting materials were available. Also, he had his craftsmen who ensured that the work of art continued progressively and with complex and nice looking shapes. The shapes were well decorated to please him and other people of higher hierarchy. Thus, Shang ensured high productivity among workers.

In casting bronze, the artist is a person who designs the casting operation. An artist decides on a technique that is suitable for designing a shape, the method to be used, and the final shape required. Since it is impossible to talk about design without the technique, it is necessary to consider a designer as an artist who designs the technique to be used in casting by the caster. Finally, the mechanical work of casting started a long time ago, and the use of flanges was not necessarily to hide the mould marks since these marks were used to mark boundaries in the drawn patterns on the objects. Thus, the art of history in China has much to do with casting techniques and forming processes.