Chin Dynasty Chinese Art - Ancient China
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Chin Dynasty Art

chin terracotta warriors

The Chin Dynasty didn't last very long (only 15 years) and so there wasn't time to develop any special style of art. Mostly even experts can't tell Chin Dynasty art from the Han Dynasty art that came next.

But archaeologists have excavated the tomb of one of the Chin Dynasty emperors, so we know that the stuff in that tomb comes from the Chin Dynasty. This tomb has a huge army of clay statues of soldiers, who were supposed to protect the dead emperor. You can see that the abstract designs and animals of the Zhou Dynasty have changed, and now art is becoming much more about representing people.

Learn by doing: Making a terracotta army head
What about Han Dynasty art?

Bibliography and further reading about Chin Dynasty Chinese art:

art in china book

Art in China (Oxford History of Art Series), by Craig Clunas (1997). Not specifically , but a good introduction to the spirit of Chinese art. Warning: this one is not arranged in chronological order. Instead, it has chapters on sculpture, calligraphy, and so on.

The Incredible Story of China's Buried Warriors, by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent (1999). For middle schoolers, about the terracotta army figures shown on this page. Great reviews!


Han Dynasty art
More on China in the Chin Dynasty
Ancient China
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Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram or Twitter.
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