The Warrior Emperor and China’s Terracotta Army

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The Warrior Emperor and China’s Terracotta Army

Post by MichelleH » Sat Jan 22, 2011 3:00 pm

The Warrior Emperor and China’s Terracotta Army on view at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts ( opens on February 12 through June 26, 2011, as it features the largest collection of artifacts ever displayed in North America related to Qin Shihuangdi. Exceeding the size and scope of recent exhibitions of terracotta warriors previously organized in the USA and the UK, Montreal is the final stop for this exclusive Canadian tour.

Please note as well that there will be an all-day symposium at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts on Friday, February 25, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., entitled New Perspectives on Qin Archaeology in French and English. The symposium will offer new insights on Chinese history and society, by exploring the context and interpretation of its material culture and its broader significance for art and archaeology. The complete program and summaries of the presentations are available on the Museum’s website at

Featuring national treasures and newly discovered artifacts dating as far back as 2,200 years and encompassing a 1000 year-old journey through the antecedents, life, and legacy of the First Emperor, the exhibition at the MMFA is curated by Chen Shen, Ph.D., Senior Curator of East Asian Art and Archaeology, the Royal Ontario Museum, with the assistance of Laura Vigo, Ph.D., the MMFA’s first Curator of Asian Art.

Nearly 1/3 of the 240 remarkable objects on loan from 16 of the Shaanxi region’s most important archeological research institutions have never been before on public display internationally. Among the selection of outstanding artifacts are funerary figurines; paintings and sculptures; architectural elements; arms and armor; ornaments in jade and gold, and earthenware objects excavated from the largest burial complex in China.

Exhibition Highlights on view at the MMFA include the following:

* Ten of the earliest known, unique, intact, full-sized terracotta sculptures belonging to the First Emperor united for the first time as part of this Canadian tour;
* A spectacular wall painting from the Emperor’s tomb complex, one of the jewels of the exhibition, on display for the first time outside of China as part of this Canadian tour;
* A life-sized bronze goose, unearthed in 2000 from what is considered the site of the Emperor’s water garden, on display for the first time outside of China as part of this Canadian tour;
* A helmet and set of armor made of stone plates are some of the most recent discoveries made in the Emperor’s mausoleum, and ranked among China’s national treasures;
* Life-sized terracotta sculptures comprising generals, warriors, horses and acrobats newly discovered by archeologists working at the still-in-operation dig site in Xi'an;
* Additional outstanding artifacts making their North American debut as part of this Canadian tour include a bronze ritual vessel describing the history of the clan of Ying, and a beautifully painted and decorated tomb gate set,
* Duke of Qin’s Bo Bell in Bronze and a Pei Pendant in Jade from the Duke’s tomb both dating back to the 8th century BC, are among the earliest artifacts on view.

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