Thursday, March 3, 2011

Terracotta Warriors invade Sydney's Art Museum

Yesterday we visited the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney where they had a fascinating exhibit on display, The Ancient Chinese Terracotta Army. Life size and extremely ancient, these figures, dating from 210 BC, were discovered in 1974 by some local farmers in Lintong District, Xi'an, Shaanxi province in China. These Terracotta warriors were placed in large pits near the Mausoleum of the First Qin EmperorQin Shi Huang and buried to serve as protection in the afterlife for the Emperor.  The terracotta figures are life-sized. They vary in height, uniform and hairstyle in accordance with rank. The coloured lacquer finish, individual facial features, and actual weapons and armor from battle used in manufacturing these figures created a realistic appearance. The figures vary in height, according to their roles, with the tallest being the generals. The figures include warriors, chariots, horses, officials, acrobats, strongmen and musicians. Current estimates are that in the three pits containing the Terracotta Army there were over 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses and 150 cavalry horses, the majority of which are still buried in the pits.The original weapons were stolen by robbers shortly after the creation of the army and the colouring has faded greatly. However, their existence serves as a testament to the amount of labor and skill involved in their construction. It is impressive how powerful the First Emperor was that enabled him to command such a monumental undertaking. 
The Art Gallery is located in what is called The Domain in the city's center, and it is a large open space wihich adjoins the Royal Botanic Gardens and Hyde Park. There are beautiful statues, fountains and the landscaping is beautiful and serene, you can't help but relax and enjoy the view.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

We saw the Warriors in Garden Grove a couple of years ago. You could've seen them while you were out visiting your parents and saved all that money going Down Under.