|Chariot Model (Modern Replica) Qin dynasty (221-206 B.C.)|
Fortunately for us the preservation of these artifacts affords a rare opportunity today to see some of the most remarkable objects and archaeology excavated in China. WHERE? At the LANDMARK EXHIBITION OF ANCIENT CHINESE ART--FEATURING TERRACOTTA WARRIOR SCULPTURES AND RECENTLY EXCAVATED TREASURES NEVER BEFORE SCENE IN THE UNITED STATES.
Age of Empires: Chinese Art o the Qin and Han Dynasties (221 B.C.- A.D. 220) explores the unprecedented role of art in creating a new and lasting Chinese cultural identity. The exhibit opens today and is on view through July 16, 2017 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gallery 899, The Tisch Galleries.
The ancient works in the exhibition include extremely rare ceramics, metalwork, textiles, sculpture, painting, calligraphy, and architectural models, all drawn fro 32 museums and archaeological institutions in the Peoples Republic of China, but a majority of the works have never before been seen in the West.
In the first gallery, you'll stop in your tracks. Along with the warriors, are bronze chariots complete with braces of well matched horses. However, take note that these in the exhibit are modern replicas created half the size of actual chariot groups found in the emperor's tomb. One of the chariots replicated here was probably used in battle or on the emperor's inspection tours. Image above: Chariot Model (Modern Replica, half-size of original), China. Original Qin dynasty (221-206 B. C.) Bronze with pigments lent by Emperor Qinshihuang's Mausoleum Site Museum.
|Kneeling Crossbow Archer, Qin Dynasty|
In his foresighted wisdom and desire to preserve his dynasty before Qinshihuang died, maybe he thought, "why go alone to the afterlife? He took with him to his tomb an army of life-size terracotta warriors, over 700 archers, cavalry, infantry and officers, all in full armor made of stone (representing the iron armor used by the emperor's army). They were buried with him in the emperor's mausoleum. The archer (right) had to shoot from a kneeling position, rather than standing. Take note, a modern replica of a crossbow such as he would have held is near by.
In creating the terracotta army, molds were used, in different arrangements, to compose the bodies of the warriors, but the faces were created with such diverse individuality that one can only stand in awe at the accuracy of their life-like expressions.
Image right: Kneeing Crossbow Archer, China, Qin dynasty (221-206 B.C.) terracotta with trades of pigments, H48 in. Lent by Emperor Qinshihuang's Mausoleum Site Museum. All photos Robert Ruben and Yvonne Korshak)
|Female Dancer Han dynasty (206 B.C.-A.D. 9)|
The highlights of the Han Dynasty in the exhibition include a monumental stone sculpture of a crouching lion, a a creature not native to China; a towering stone fluted column with dragons and a fluted silver box. Luxury trade artifacts include necklaces made of amethyst, aquamarine, beryl, and rock crystal. Please note a small group of small, animal sculptures in carnelian and multifaceted gold beads. Image left: Female Dancer China, Western Han Dynasty (206 B.C.-A.D. 9) Earthenware with pigment. H. 17 5/8 in. Lent by Xuzhou City Museum.
The exhibition is accompanied by a full illustrated catalogue, written by leading Chinese and Western scholars in the field. A full program and a scholarly symposium is offered during the course of the exhibition. www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions/listings/2017/age-of-empires. Or
Ta Ta Darlings!!! No need to travel. This exhibition brings such remarkable treasures to our doorstep it's worth the visit just to see the Terracotta Warriors. Fan mail welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit Polly's Blogs at www.pollytalk.com and click on the links in the left hand column to fashion, beauty, Art Deco Divas, visionary men and poetry.