Terracotta Army: Legacy of the First Emperor of China will explore the development of China’s influential Qin dynasty by showcasing its significant cultural masterpieces. The exhibition features approximately 120 objects drawn from 14 Chinese museums and archaeological institutes. The objects recount how the Qin people evolved from a tribe to an empire, with Ying Zheng (259-210 B.C.), king of the Qin. After centralizing power, he unified the country, established numerous reforms and standards and implemented an imperial system that remained for 2,000 years.
Dating from 770-206 B.C., the works of art in the exhibition, excavated from the emperor’s mausoleum as well as aristocratic and nomadic tombs, richly reflect ancient Chinese history, myths and burial practices. In addition to nine life-size terracotta figures, the exhibition includes a cavalry horse, arms and armor, ritual bronze vessels, works in gold and silver, jade ornaments, precious jewelry and ceramics.
The exhibition is divided into three sections and emphasizes the relationship between the Qin Empire and other peoples. The first section documents the First Emperor’s rise to power and the unification of China. Section two explores the formation of the Qin dynasty, from its beginnings as a rural tribe and subsequent thriving fiefdom to expansive empire. The final section will examine the First Emperor’s quest for eternal life through several impressive life-size terracotta figures and other related objects.
Top Image: Kneeling Archer, Qin dynasty (221–206 BC), earthenware, Excavated from Pit 2, Qin Shihuang’s Mausoleum, 1977, Emperor Qin Shihuang’s Mausoleum Site Museum