Chinese Buddhism and Buddhist Art
Buddhism, which was introduced in China as early as the 1st century AD, has played a vital role in Chinese life, culture and art. It is one of the three main ideological and spiritual streams, along with Confucianism and Taoism.
Taoism is a philosophy born of the key book Tao Te Ch'ing -also known as Tao Te King-, a work of Lao Tzu dated from the 6th century BC.
Confucianism is one of the largest moral and political schools in China. It has been developing for more than two millennia.
Under Han-Emperor Wu, Confucianism was imposed as a state doctrine, and it remained so for two millennia until the founding of the Republic of China.
Chinese people, concerned with respect for rituals and traditions, attach great importance to the representation and staging of flowers or animals. Beyond their decorative aspect of great expressiveness, they have a traditional symbolic value, codified, evocative of power, financial success, matrimonial happiness, good health.