Han dynasty is one of the most prestigious dynasties in China. Confucianism and Daoism became official religions during this era. Confucian and Daoist teachings of immortality and nobility and uprightness of the human soul influenced artists during the Han dynasty to predominantly paint human figures and scenes of daily social life. Zen artists view art as a representation of the essence, “the eternal qualities of an object.” This is already existent even before the artist arrives. His job therefore is to suggest by the simplest possible means the inherent nature of an aesthetic object. The economy of means is important to convey the purity and simplicity of the eternal nature of an object. His aim is not to create an illusion of reality, as what western artist does, but rather to produce something that makes one think beyond reality towards the essence of reality. Though seemingly simple, creating the abstract representation of the innate essence of the object requires time and patience. After the comprehending the essence of an object, an artist can effortlessly and spontaneously paint his masterpiece. Stupas represent the Buddhist belief that they can also achieve the enlightenment that Buddha achieved in his lifetime. The monument which is composed of parts represents the elements that would lead to enlightenment, is an edifice that would make Buddhist connected with their goal of enlightenment. Art, in this case, is a tool to remember the spiritual aims and purpose of man.
1.) Modernism is an art trend that stresses the power of human beings to create, improve, and reshape their environment, with the aid of scientific knowledge, technology and practical experimentation. Many of the previous movements had failed to realize their goals. Painters of the 19th century believed that art should present images that contain and reflect moral and ethical values for others to emulate (Witcombe). However as scientific breakthroughs provided a possibility of debunking conservative values, a new, progressive world order emerged. From Neoclassicism, Romanticism, and Realism all of which portrayed life as it is, Modern art, focusing on possibilities, emerged.
2.) Most of the American painters during the 19th century were trained and worked in European countries. The