The Terracotta armies of Qin Shi Huang
The Terracotta armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of
The figures, dating from 210 BC, were discovered in 1974 by
some local farmers in Shaanxi province, near the Mausoleum of
the First Qin The figures vary in height, according to their roles,
the tallest being the generals.
The figures include warriors, chariots, horses, officials, acrobats,
strongmen and musicians.
Current estimates are that in the three pits containing the terracotta
army there were over 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses
and 150 cavalry horses, the majority of which are still buried in
Chinese bronzeware is categorized according to use:Chinese bronzeware is categorized according to use:
1.1. Sacrificial vesselsSacrificial vessels
2.2. Wine vesselsWine vessels
3.3. Food vesselsFood vessels
4.4. Water vesselsWater vessels
5.5. Musical instrumentsMusical instruments
7.7. Measuring containersMeasuring containers
8.8. Ancient moneyAncient money
Types of Chinese Ritual Vessels—BronzeTypes of Chinese Ritual Vessels—Bronze
Divided according to typesDivided according to types
With legs/lids/handlesWith legs/lids/handles
Without legs/lids/handlesWithout legs/lids/handles
With different types of shapes/purposesWith different types of shapes/purposes
AA DingDing ((ting) is an ancient vessel with legs, a lid and a handle onting) is an ancient vessel with legs, a lid and a handle on
either side.either side.
A Ding is made in two shapes with round vessels having threeA Ding is made in two shapes with round vessels having three
A Ding, originally made of ceramic, was cast in bronze during theA Ding, originally made of ceramic, was cast in bronze during the
Shang Dynasty (1600-1046 BCE).Shang Dynasty (1600-1046 BCE).
Used for cooking, storage and storage of ritual offerings toUsed for cooking, storage and storage of ritual offerings to
Chinese pronunciation systemChinese pronunciation system
PinyinPinyin isis Mandarin pronunciation systemMandarin pronunciation system
It’s now the official system to transcribe Chinese characters toIt’s now the official system to transcribe Chinese characters to
teach Mandarin Chinese in China, Hong Kong, Malaysia,teach Mandarin Chinese in China, Hong Kong, Malaysia,
Singapore and Taiwan.Singapore and Taiwan.
It is also often used to spell Chinese names in foreignIt is also often used to spell Chinese names in foreign
publications and used as an input method to enter Chinesepublications and used as an input method to enter Chinese
characters into computers.characters into computers.
The system was developed by Zhou Youguang (b. 1906), whoThe system was developed by Zhou Youguang (b. 1906), who
led a government committee in developing the system in Chinaled a government committee in developing the system in China
(PRC) in the 1950s.(PRC) in the 1950s.
The system was published by the Chinese government in 1958The system was published by the Chinese government in 1958
and adopted as official pronunciation system.and adopted as official pronunciation system.
Originally there were Nine Dings which were believed to haveOriginally there were Nine Dings which were believed to have
been cast by King Yu of the Xia Dynasty when he divided hisbeen cast by King Yu of the Xia Dynasty when he divided his
territory into Nine Provinces calledterritory into Nine Provinces called JiuzhouJiuzhou..
Later on, possession of all nine was considered a sign ofLater on, possession of all nine was considered a sign of
rightful authority over all.rightful authority over all.
Owning even a few Dings was a symbol of power and socialOwning even a few Dings was a symbol of power and social
The whereabouts of the nine dings are presently unknown, butThe whereabouts of the nine dings are presently unknown, but
are said to have been lost during the imperial Qin Dynastyare said to have been lost during the imperial Qin Dynasty
(221-206 BCE).(221-206 BCE).
Vessels, continuedVessels, continued
Used for three purposes: to hold millet wine, food and water.Used for three purposes: to hold millet wine, food and water.
Vessels with their long feet were used for cookingVessels with their long feet were used for cooking
Decoration and InscriptionsDecoration and Inscriptions
Display typicalDisplay typical TaotieTaotie pattern with a dragon motif (Taotie mask).pattern with a dragon motif (Taotie mask).
The first inscriptions of the bronze vessels are clan insignia,The first inscriptions of the bronze vessels are clan insignia,
or names of persons (dead ancestors).or names of persons (dead ancestors).
Ancestor veneration/worshipAncestor veneration/worship
LiLi - a round-bellied food container with three hollow- a round-bellied food container with three hollow
legs from early Shang times to late Warring States.legs from early Shang times to late Warring States.
Typical for this vessel type is the seamless, smoothTypical for this vessel type is the seamless, smooth
transition from the legs into the body that makes thetransition from the legs into the body that makes the lili
optically more slim than theoptically more slim than the dingding type.type.
There are mixed forms calledThere are mixed forms called li-dingli-ding oror ding-li.ding-li.
YanYan - combination of- combination of lili and a pot (and a pot (zengzeng) from early Shang to) from early Shang to
Spring and Autumn period.Spring and Autumn period.
TheThe yanyan was a kind of metal steamer.was a kind of metal steamer.
The food was put in theThe food was put in the zengzeng, the water in the, the water in the lili was heatedwas heated
by a fire between the three legs.by a fire between the three legs.
The water vapor rose through holes or a grid in the bottom ofThe water vapor rose through holes or a grid in the bottom of
the upper pot.the upper pot.
There exist objects with one long stove-likeThere exist objects with one long stove-like lili and three potsand three pots
upon. From Western Zhou on, we also find squareupon. From Western Zhou on, we also find square yanyan vessels.vessels.
The character indicates that the vessel had a ceramic origin.The character indicates that the vessel had a ceramic origin.
JueJue - one of the oldest wine mugs, the earliest dates- one of the oldest wine mugs, the earliest dates
from the Erlitou culture.from the Erlitou culture.
TheThe jue'sjue's typical features are long, canal-like beaktypical features are long, canal-like beak
and shorter counterpart on the other side.and shorter counterpart on the other side.
On both sides, small handles (On both sides, small handles (panpan) are fitted. From) are fitted. From
the Shang dynasty on,the Shang dynasty on, juejue beaks are crowned by onebeaks are crowned by one
or twoor two zhuzhu buttons.buttons.
This vessel type has been very popular and wasThis vessel type has been very popular and was
copied often. It has been in use until the introductioncopied often. It has been in use until the introduction
of bowls and cups during Song dynasty.of bowls and cups during Song dynasty.
A standard vessel used for food sacrifice to ancestors. Although a ding is three
legged, there are examples of four legged vessels, especially in ancient times.
The four-legged is called fangding (square ding).
Gefuding Gui, Late Shang, Shanghai Museum
A late Shang, ritual bronze wine
vessel (zun) in the unusual shape
of an owl with a domed head for
A late Shang dynasty bronze ding vessel with taotie motif
Quang, ritual wine pouring vessel from Shang dynasty, Anyang period, about
12th–11th century BCE.
Used for sacrificial purposes. It is said that a person who did offend against
the etiquette had to drink to the health of his host until he was drunk.
A Gong bronze vessel with animalistic motif
13-11 century B.C., late Shang Dynasty
A gū ritual wine vessel, 12-11th
century BCE, Shang Dynasty
Tripod Ritual Wine Cup (Jue)
Western Zhou, circa: 11th century-771 BCE
A Western Zhou bronze
gui vessel, c. 1000 BCE.
In the Chinese historical
tradition, the Zhou
defeated the Shang and
oriented the Shang system
of ancestor worship
towards a universalized
worship, away from the
worship of Shangdi and to
that of Tian or "heaven".
They legitimized their rule
by invoking the "Mandate
of Heaven," the notion that
the ruler (the "Son of
Heaven") governed by
divine right and that his
dethronement would prove
that he had lost the
Mandate. Disasters and
would thus show that the
ruling family had lost this
Yǒu with zigzag thunder pattern, Early Zhou
Stone rubbings from Han Dynasty
Han nobles, a Chinese painting on a ceramic tile from a tomb near Luoyang, Henan province.
Dated Eastern Han Dynasty (25–220 CE).
Detail of a
painter of the
described as the
favorite mount of
the Tang Emperor
The work is a
hand scroll, in ink
Museum of Art
Court official on an outing by an anonymous painter, Han Dynasty
Court ladies at work, Han Dynasty, inspired by Confucius teaching
Spring Outing of the Tang Court by Zhang Xuan, Tang Dynasty, c. 8th century
The Sung/Song DynastyThe Sung/Song Dynasty
TheThe Song DynastySong Dynasty (960–1279)(960–1279)
It’sIt’s divided into two distinct periods: thedivided into two distinct periods: the
Northern Song and Southern Song.Northern Song and Southern Song.
During theDuring the Northern SongNorthern Song the capital was inthe capital was in
the northern city of Bianjing (now Kaifeng)the northern city of Bianjing (now Kaifeng)
and the dynasty controlled most of innerand the dynasty controlled most of inner
Art of Northern Song DynastyArt of Northern Song Dynasty
The Song dynasty (960–1279) was culturally the mostThe Song dynasty (960–1279) was culturally the most
brilliant era in later imperial Chinese history.brilliant era in later imperial Chinese history.
A time of great social and economic change, the period inA time of great social and economic change, the period in
large measure shaped the intellectual and political climatelarge measure shaped the intellectual and political climate
of China down to the twentieth century.of China down to the twentieth century.
The first half of this era, when the capital was located atThe first half of this era, when the capital was located at
Bianliang (modern Kaifeng), is known as the NorthernBianliang (modern Kaifeng), is known as the Northern
Song period (960-1126).Song period (960-1126).
The early Northern Song Dynasty (1127-1279) witnessedThe early Northern Song Dynasty (1127-1279) witnessed
the flowering of one of the supreme artistic expressions ofthe flowering of one of the supreme artistic expressions of
Chinese civilization: monumental landscape painting.Chinese civilization: monumental landscape painting.
Paintings during Song Dynasty 960-1279Paintings during Song Dynasty 960-1279
Towering achievements in intellectual, artistic and materialTowering achievements in intellectual, artistic and material
culture took placeculture took place
Values and patterns of culture were planted during the TangValues and patterns of culture were planted during the Tang
Dynasty in an embryonic formDynasty in an embryonic form
During the Song it flourished but with an emphasis on society,During the Song it flourished but with an emphasis on society,
rather than on military might, in spite of recurring threats fromrather than on military might, in spite of recurring threats from
the neighbors of the steppesthe neighbors of the steppes
Focus on effective administration, arts, literature, culture wereFocus on effective administration, arts, literature, culture were
Artists, musicians, poets, calligraphers and writers wereArtists, musicians, poets, calligraphers and writers were
patronized by the courtspatronized by the courts
Learning was the key to successLearning was the key to success
Literati SchoolLiterati School
Paintings often contained poemsPaintings often contained poems
Calligraphy gained a status of art, rather than just a form ofCalligraphy gained a status of art, rather than just a form of
Artistic and intellectual output increased vastlyArtistic and intellectual output increased vastly
Harking back to the Confucius ideals—Neo-Confucianism—Harking back to the Confucius ideals—Neo-Confucianism—
that were concerned with good government, hierarchical butthat were concerned with good government, hierarchical but
benevolent ordering of societybenevolent ordering of society
Buddhist/Daoist ideals of compassion and kinship with allBuddhist/Daoist ideals of compassion and kinship with all
sentient beings were reflected in all aspects of life, includingsentient beings were reflected in all aspects of life, including
arts and governmentarts and government
The flowering of art (painting in the case of Song Dynasty) isThe flowering of art (painting in the case of Song Dynasty) is
possible only when it is provided sufficient patronage by thepossible only when it is provided sufficient patronage by the
rich and wealthyrich and wealthy
In the case of Song paintings, it was the imperial house thatIn the case of Song paintings, it was the imperial house that
provided the impetusprovided the impetus
Patronage implies abundant wealth and leisurePatronage implies abundant wealth and leisure
It was during the Song period that an academy of painting wasIt was during the Song period that an academy of painting was
Connoisseurship of art was developedConnoisseurship of art was developed
Landscape painting was favorite subject of many artistsLandscape painting was favorite subject of many artists
Two formatsTwo formats
Hanging scrollHanging scroll
Hand scrollHand scroll
Monumental modeMonumental mode
Attention to detailsAttention to details
Creating a visual pathCreating a visual path
Capturing ch’i, rather than justCapturing ch’i, rather than just
the physical form of the objectthe physical form of the object
"Early Spring," by Guo Xi, 1072 CE (Northern Song
(Sung) Dynasty. Hanging Scroll, ink and slight color
on silk. 60" Long. National Palace Museum, Taipei,
Taiwan, Republic of China
Chinese hand scroll painting
Early Spring by Guo Xi
Hanging scroll, ink and color on silk.
Northern Song Dynasty. 1072
Art of the Literati school: landscape painting. Summer Mountains, Northern Song dynasty,
11th century, Attributed to Qu Ding, Hand scroll; ink and pale color on silk.
Clearing Autumn Skies over Mountains and Valleys by Kuo Hsi, Northern Song Dynasty
c. 1070, detail from a horizontal scroll
Chinese artists of the Song period were concernedChinese artists of the Song period were concerned
with aesthetic devices, not necessarily Western ideawith aesthetic devices, not necessarily Western idea
of reality, including perspectiveof reality, including perspective
Some of the Chinese conventional devises include:Some of the Chinese conventional devises include:
Tilting of the foregroundTilting of the foreground
Flatting of the backgroundFlatting of the background
The Chinese artists speak about a landscape that is good toThe Chinese artists speak about a landscape that is good to
walk inwalk in
They also talk about walking through the painting andThey also talk about walking through the painting and
seeing this and thatseeing this and that
This leads to detailing in the landscapeThis leads to detailing in the landscape
The path needs to be visually importantThe path needs to be visually important
One of the tests of authenticity for a Song painting is theOne of the tests of authenticity for a Song painting is the
believability of the landscape as a place to walk inbelievability of the landscape as a place to walk in
One must not climb a rock and find nothing behind itOne must not climb a rock and find nothing behind it
Each part of the painting is a separate part, but each partEach part of the painting is a separate part, but each part
fits into the whole and the whole is the sum of the partsfits into the whole and the whole is the sum of the parts
with nothing left overwith nothing left over
Creating balance and harmony was importantCreating balance and harmony was important
Awe inspiring of the mountainAwe inspiring of the mountain
Solidity of the mountain expresses old age, time, wisdom,Solidity of the mountain expresses old age, time, wisdom,
power, authority, indestructibility, immobility (i.e.power, authority, indestructibility, immobility (i.e.
Travelers among Mountains and Streams by Fan Kuan
Song Dynasty, 11th
century, hanging scroll