Intellectually and visually stimulating, this important landmark book looks at the religious, political, social and artistic significance of the Imperial tombs of the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD). It traces the evolutionary development of the most elaborately beautiful imperial tombs to examine fundamental issues on death and the afterlife in one of the world's most sophisticated civilizations. Selected tombs are presented in terms of their structure, artistic programs and their purposes. The author sets the tombs in the context of Chinese attitudes towards the afterlife, the politics of mausoleum architecture, and the artistic vocabulary which was becoming the mainstream of Chinese civilization.

chapter |6 pages


part |2 pages

Part I Place, form and function

chapter |20 pages

Ambition and archetype

chapter |21 pages

Li Xian’s tomb

chapter |8 pages

Relative status

chapter |10 pages

Builders and painters

chapter |25 pages

Passages of rites

part |2 pages

Part II Visions of kingdoms

chapter |18 pages

Palatial quarters

chapter |18 pages

Pleasures and protocols

chapter |13 pages

Courtly women