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Ancient Sichuan: Treasures from a Lost Civilization

Bagley, Robert (ed)

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ISBN 10: 0691088519 / ISBN 13: 9780691088518
Edité par Princeton Univ Pr/ Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, 2001
Etat : Fine Couverture rigide
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1st ed. Fine in Fine dj. Oversized heavy book, overseas customers check with dealer on postage. N° de réf. du libraire 108792

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Détails bibliographiques

Titre : Ancient Sichuan: Treasures from a Lost ...

Éditeur : Princeton Univ Pr/ Seattle Art Museum, Seattle

Date d'édition : 2001

Reliure : Hard Cover

Etat du livre :Fine

Etat de la jaquette : Fine

Edition : 1st Ed.

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Synopsis :

This extraordinary catalogue accompanies a major traveling exhibition of 128 works of bronze, jade, and clay dating from the thirteenth century B.C. to the second century A.D. The majority of these stunningly sophisticated works of art--among the most unusual and spectacular produced anywhere in the ancient world--all come from a startling archaeological discovery made just fourteen years ago at the previously unknown site of Sanxingdui in Sichuan province. The discovery of this Bronze Age civilization fundamentally changes our understanding of Chinese history.

Representing fifteen hundred years of cultural production, these striking objects are extraordinarily varied, ranging from a monumental standing figure and an almost life-size bronze horse to ritual vessels, masks, and bronze heads of fantastic-looking supernatural beings, finely honed jade knives and ritual blades, and marvelous clay statuettes. Most have never before been seen in the United States. The exhibition and catalogue represent a unique international effort to continue the study of ancient Sichuan.

Under the leadership of Robert Bagley, an international team of scholars contributes eight essays on the archaeological discoveries at Sanxingdui, the art historical importance of these objects, and the new history of ancient China they tell. Contributors are Michèle Pirazzoli-t'Serstevens, Jessica Rawson, Lothar von Falkenhausen, Alain Thote, Jenny F. So, Michael Nylan, and the Seattle Art Museum's Curator of Chinese Art, Jay Xu. In addition to the essays, there are individual entries for each object, nearly all of which have been newly photographed for this publication.

Ancient Sichuan contributes to a revolutionary change in perceptions of ancient Chinese civilization, providing an unprecedented opportunity to explore the art, material culture, and spiritual life of ancient China.


Seattle Art Museum, Seattle

May-August 2001

Kimbell Museum of Art, Fort Worth

September 2001-January 2002

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

March-June 2002

Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto

August-November 2002


Ancient Sichuan is the catalog of a spectacular exhibition organized by the Seattle Art Museum. Recent discoveries from Sichuan Province are revolutionizing the history of ancient China, showing that the traditional cradle of Chinese culture, along the Yellow River, had sophisticated competition from distant regions 3,000 years ago. Stately bronze trees and huge bronze heads--some with gold-foil masks, some with strange alien eyes on foot-long stalks--are the centerpieces of the show. Dating from the 12th century B.C., these exotic objects, found with elephant tusks and ritual jade weapons in two vast sacrificial pits, are artifacts of a previously unknown culture whose existence took archaeologists by surprise. These pieces alone would be sufficient for a groundbreaking exhibition, but the show and this beautifully designed catalog take the distinctive nature of local Sichuan culture into Han times, 1,000 years later. Lively ceramic sculptures of entertainers and erotic scenes on wall tiles demonstrate the creativity and exuberance of ancient Sichuan society. Essays by leading scholars in the field compellingly describe the context and significance of the often breathtaking objects. A wealth of comparative material, photographs, and drawings explains how original and different Sichuan culture was from what has long been considered the Yellow River Bronze Age mainstream. With the finds illustrated in Ancient Sichuan, the cradle of Chinese civilization begins to look like a large double bed. --John Stevenson

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