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Ancient Chinese Art On Display at New York City’s MET

New exhibit features art from Qin and Han dynasties never before seen in the West.

History By

After laying in a tomb for some two thousand years, these artifacts from the Chinese Qin and Han dynasties, circa 221 BC, are ready for their close-up.

New Yorkers and visitors to the Big Apple can now see the collection on loan from China during a show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The exhibition, entitled “Age of Empires: Chinese Art of the Qin and Han Dynasties (221 B.C.-A.D. 220),” includes more than 160 pieces of ancient Chinese art.

Among the highlights: The body of Dou Wan, the wife of Prince Jing, laid to rest and perfectly preserved in a jade and gold encasement, terracotta army warriors, ornate dishware, metalwork, paintings and brightly-color textiles. The items on exhibit are pulled from 32 different museums and research centers throughout China. Many of these works have never before been on display in the West.

The exhibit ends July 16.

Kneeling Archer
Qin dynasty (221–206 B.C.) (Courtesy Qin Shihuangdi Mausoleum Site Museum)
Model Armor
Qin dynasty (221–206 B.C.) (Courtesy Shaanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology)
Burial Suit of Dou Wan
Western Han dynasty (206 B.C.–A.D. 9) (Courtesy Hebei Provincial Museum)
Inscriptions from the Stele of Mount Yi (front). (Courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art)
Dog
Eastern Han dynasty (A.D. 25–220) (Courtesy Henan Museum)
Model of a Multistory House
Eastern Han dynasty (A.D. 25–220) (Courtesy Henan Museum)
Coffin Handle
Western Han dynasty (206 B.C.–A.D. 9), 2nd century B.C. (Courtesy Hebei Provincial Museum)
Model Helmut
Qin dynasty (221–206 B.C.)(Courtesy Shaanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology)

Rhinoceros, Western Han dynasty (206 B.C.–A.D. 9), 2nd century B.C. (Courtesy Nanjing Museum)
Tripod Food Container (Ding) with Cloud Pattern (Courtesy Hunan Provincial Museum)
Six Niuzhong Bells
Western Han dynasty (206 B.C.–A.D. 9), 1st century B.C. (Courtesy Jiangxi Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology)
Pair of Finials in the Shape of Mythical Beasts
Qin dynasty (221–206 B.C.) (Courtesy Xi’an Museum)
From left: Unarmored General, Standing Archer, Civil Official Qin dynasty (221–206 B.C.) (Courtesy Qin Shihuangdi Mausoleum Site Museum)
Pillow in the Shape of a Twin-Headed Bird
Eastern Han dynasty (A.D. 25–220) (Courtesy Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region Museum)
Read full story at New York Review of Books