From Splendor to Revolt: Royal Intrigue and the Terracotta Works of Early Han China by Allison Miller, Southwestern University

Tuesday, April 16, 2013
6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.



Price: Free.

Warrior on Horseback


Western Han dynasty (206 BC – 9 AD)

Earthenware with pigments

Gift of Lenora and Walter F. Brown


The rapid pace of China''''s recent development has led to the discovery of an astonishing array of exquisitely crafted artifacts in salvage excavations across China. Miller will discuss terracotta works recently discovered in royal tombs dating to the early Han dynasty, the second and first centuries BCE, a period often dubbed as a “golden age” in Chinese civilization. In particular, Miller will consider the repercussions of a grand royal intrigue—the watershed “Seven Kingdom Revolt”—on terracotta works crafted for the tombs of local invested kings. Examining the themes, manufacture, and distribution of these works, the genre of mortuary sculpture will be considered in light of the social and political issues of the day.

Dr. Allison R. Miller received her Ph.D. from Harvard University in Art History and East Asian Languages and Civilizations in 2011 and currently works as an assistant professor of Asian art at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas. She previously studied in Beijing University’s Department of Archaeology and received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago. Her research deals primarily with ancient Chinese art and archaeology, and in particular, on the competing political, social, and aesthetic values that contributed to formal shifts in a range of works—architectural, sculptural, and pictorial.

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