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The First Emperor and sculpture in China

  • Lukas Nickel (a1)

Sculpture as an artistic medium was widely employed in the arts of Greece and the Hellenistic East, but played only a minor role in ancient East Asia. This changed dramatically with the First Emperor of China who marked his ascent to the throne in 221 bc with the erection of giant bronze sculptures outside his palace and the installation of thousands of terracotta figures in his tomb. The current text sets out to investigate the sudden and short-lived surge of sculpture making in third-century bc China and places it in the context of developments across Asia of the time. The text joins art historical, archaeological and textual evidence to investigate whether the First Emperor's extraordinary interest in sculpture may have been the result of contacts with the contemporary Hellenistic world.

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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Lothar Von Falkenhausen . 2003. “The external connections of Sanxingdui”, Journal of East Asian Archaeology 5/1–4, 191245.

Ladislav Kesner . 1995. “Likeness of no one: (re)presenting the First Emperor's army”, The Art Bulletin, 77/1 (March 1995), 115–32.

Michael Loewe . 1985. “The royal tombs of Zhongshan (c. 310 b.c.)”, Arts Asiatiques 40, 130–34.

Jessica Rawson . 2002. “The power of images – the model universe of the First Emperor and its legacy”, Historical Research 75, no 188 (May 2002), 123–54.

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Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies
  • ISSN: 0041-977X
  • EISSN: 1474-0699
  • URL: /core/journals/bulletin-of-the-school-of-oriental-and-african-studies
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