Exploring Chinese bronzes at 11 Chinese museums

Shanxi Bronze Museum, Shanxi province

Updated: Oct 15, 2021 Print
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The exhibition hall of the Shanxi Bronze Museum [Photo/]

Installed in the Shanxi Museum and showcasing a brilliant collection of bronzes discovered in Shanxi province, the Shanxi Bronze Museum tells the story of China’s Bronze Age from a new cultural perspective and with an extraordinary design philosophy.

The permanent display Glories of the Bronze Age exhibits over 2,200 cultural relics dating from the Taosi Cultural Period (4300-3900 BC) to the Qin and Han dynasties (221 BC-AD 220) to present the splendid Chinese bronze civilization. It consists of three sections: Foundations of Chinese Civilization, the World of Rites and Music, and Achievements in Technology and Arts.

Foundations of Chinese Civilization shows Shanxi's special role in the formation and development of Chinese civilization through the exquisite bronze wares unearthed from the Taosi Site, the Jiuwutou tombs in Wenxi county, the Qucun-Tianma Site of the Jin State, and the tombs of the Peng State as well as those of the Ba State.

The World of Rites and Music exhibits bronzes unearthed from the Qucun-Tianma Site and the Tomb of Zhao Jianzi, together with other national treasures, including the zun bronze vessel of Yi with inscriptions and the square-sectioned yi vessel of Yi, and analyzes inscriptions dating from the early Western Zhou Dynasty (c.11th century-771 BC) to introduce the systematic use of musical instruments. The effect is to show the development and evolution of rites and a musical system during the Zhou Dynasty (c.11th century-256 BC), which aids in interpreting the connotations of Chinese bronzes.

Technological and artistic achievements include consummate bronze casting techniques, the shapes and decoration of bronzes to reflect the innovation of the bronze casting technology of the Jin State Foundry in Houma city and the remarkable productions of Shanxi-style bronze art.

The bronze zun vessel of Yi from the Western Zhou Dynasty (c.11th century-771 BC), part of the collection of the Shanxi Museum. [Photo/]

Click the link to learn more about the Shanxi Bronze Museum

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