With its long history and diverse culture, Imperial China was known for its rich and complex traditions in art. From the magnificent terracotta warriors and splendid court paintings to delicate blue-and-white porcelain, these artworks not only testify to the complexity of the society that produced them, they also suggest visual principles and ideological premises by which they can be understood. This course offers an introduction to the important roles that art played in the society of Imperial China and discusses their visual principles and ideological premises so we can comprehend the artworks themselves. By examining three large groups of artworks from Imperial China--ritual objects and monuments from the early periods, courtly paintings and calligraphy from the middle periods, and commercial goods of factory art from the late imperial periods--we will look at the relationship of form and content, the materiality of artworks, questions of the artist's agency, and the context in which artworks were produced, transmitted, and consumed. The goal of this course is to encourage interest in the arts and culture of Imperial China as well as basic issues in the field of art history.