Despite the natural swarthiness, fair complexion and blush were appreciated. Therefore, ceruse and rouge have been widely used in make-up. However, there were girls who liked to show off their natural beauty. Thus, in the novel Tsao Hsueh-ch'in “Dream in Red Mansion” says that the face of heroine Bao-chai is like a silver bowl, eyes like moist apricots, lips are not dyed, but as cinnabar, the eyebrows are not painted, but with a green tint.
According to the description of the Venetian merchant and the diplomat Marco Polo, we can judge that sense of beauty was highly developed in medieval China. Choosing a bride for the emperor, her beauty was evaluated as a diamond in carats.


    China is rightly considered the birthplace of silk and the craft of silk ornamentation. In ancient times it was believed that silk cured man from many diseases through rubbing the skin. Therefore, not only beautiful exterior quality of silk attracted the attention of the rich and noble people around the world.
Fantastic dragons, birds, bats, butterflies, flowers of plum, peony and lotus, medallions of complex shapes were always full of deep symbolism. Ancient Chinese farmers supposed that the unity of the two opposite forces (Heaven and Earth) caused the beginning of life. The vivid example of their merging was rain. Hence, the main motives of Chinese ornament are waves, cloud bands and spirals - the symbols of thunder and lightning. Here is the image of the dragon which is a ruler of rain, swimming in the waves or floating among the clouds, and at the same time, enveloped in flames.
In ancient times colour symbolism was determined by the changing seasons. Green is the color of spring, young shoots, red is the colour of summer and fire, yellow is the color of earth and ripening corns and white embodies autumn, when the coffers are filled with snow-white grains of rice. But white is also the colour of west where the sun dies, so unpainted fabrics are used for mourning garments. Black is the colour of winter which is the darkest time of the year, and black with a red tint (color Xuan) symbolizes the birth of light in the depths of darkness, the image of the solstice. In the Middle Ages, the general nature of colors remained unchanged, but its symbolism is gradually replaced by hierarchical signs of social regulation: yellow - the colour of imperial clothing, red - the colour of the highest dignitaries. Then green, blue and white followed.


    Since antiquity Chinese costume (male and female) consisted of long pants and a loose shirt or robe tightly wrapped from left to right with a braid string. Trousers were fastened at the waist by a cloth belt. The straight sleeves of shirt and robe were narrowed at the bottom and decorated with cuffs. Women, the elite and old people wore long plaht wrapped over the trousers.

Следующая страница Предыдущая страница
Aesthetic ideals, symbo-
lics and the costume of China

What did ancient Egyptians wear ?

The “Golden 50-s”. Marilyn Monroe period.