“ASPECTS OF THE ASIAN WORLD: CHINESE TERACOTTA WARRIORS”

13 views2 pages
Published on 11 Oct 2012
School
Department
Course
Professor
Page:
of 2
1
ART HISTORY September 23 2010
ASPECTS OF THE ASIAN WORLD: CHINESE TERACOTTA WARRIORS
The First Emperor: Making the Terracotta Army
o Yang Zhifa March 29th 1974 , needed to dig a well
o Made of clay over 2000 years old
o Most famous army in the world today
o He also made China
o 259 BC emperor born, king of chin at age 13
o China made up of warring states and ultimately, took over all of them unified china
o Military achievement/ weaponry he standardized making/ putting together cross bow- deadly and
reproducible
o Efficiency, mass production enabled him to conquer embassy
o 20 years after becoming emperor he unified china
o Each state had different had different writing, he changed and made chin writing universal
o Went on tours of inspections and wrote inscriptions on rocks
o Each state had own coin he decided on circle with square in centre
o Built roads for military efficiency 45 new roads
o Joined up walls of empire- beginning project of great wall
o Cosmic role in universe- he could see that he needed unified spectacle of himself visionary side
o Controversial figure burning of books and scholars
o At 13 began to plan his tomb- wanted to rule above ground and bellow forever
o He was afraid of dying and tried to hide from assassins
o Sent people to islands to find herbs for “not dying” climbed mountain to find spirits
Terracotta Warriors Video
o Over 7000 men in pits
o Pit 1- main army
o Pits looted and burnt after death of emperor, roof of tomb collapsed, excavation difficult, have to be
stuck together again
o Non life like proportions long torso, short legs- were they aware that they would be looked at from
above
o Mass production? Moulds
o Workers were prisoners
o Working on batches at a time
o Various combinations, made in production lines, each workshop had supervisor, controlled quality
and work force
o Tombs of laborers found near tomb
2
o After fashioned in clay and details, dry and fired, covered in lacquer, pigments applied later all these
colours are shocking when you see them reconstructed, when exposed to air, lacquer came off,
colour lost,
o New technique to preserving colours
o Made using technology , prefabricated , details of face all added later
o Modulation in detail in clothes, but face has integral integrity of form
o Give consciousness to empty head of a body by giving it a head, once given they become a person
like no other... making them haunting
o Intent to exercise power in the realm beyond in a way those that died in the making/ those
commemorated are hauntingly in the works
o Didn’t only want army but civilian government members writing tools and white sleeves
o Bronze chariots- buried with real hay to travel around empire in after life
o Acrobats and strong men to entertain the emperor much more lively
o Musicians, most recent finds in underground water course in river swans, geese, and cranes
o Underground palace?
o Real human remains- why the mix?
o 2nd emperor wanted to get rid of people he didn’t like
o Perfect army could be made in clay,
o Pit of armor made of stone? all diff kinds for people buried for real against ghosts will protect you
against demons
o 210 bc emperor died, his tomb is sealed and undisturbed
o Microcosm of universe
o Are they individuals?
o Portraiture as genre in art history
o First emperor still dominating our thoughts, left legacy that still provokes us, today
o Work of ruthless individual or visionary?
o Don’t understand his visions
o This was done in essence but never in this level of shock of awe
o Vast collective enterprise, see them as soldiers most people they see them as something made by
real people who existed in past, trace of person left behind
o Who do we see workers, soldiers or emperor?