Entombed Treasures: Funerary Art of Han Dynasty China

February 2, 2013 — April 21, 2013

Lady and Attendants
China, Western Han dynasty, 206 BC-9 AD
Earthenware with pigments
Gift of Lenora and Walter F. Brown

Entombed Treasures: Funerary Art of Han Dynasty China showcases the art, daily life, and beliefs of the Han dynasty through examples of tombware from SAMA’s own collection of Chinese ceramics and metalwork. The Han dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD) was a period of great progress and innovation in early China. The visual arts flourished in these four centuries of increased cultural sophistication. Spiritual thought of the period emphasized the continuity between this life and the life experienced after death. Tombs of important officials and landowners were lavishly decorated and stocked with everything the deceased might need in the next world, including favorite belongings, everyday items, and food. Striking ceramic representations of the deceased’s attendants, animals, model homes and granary were among the objects that furnished the tombs. Bronze and earthenware objects in Entombed Treasures, some of which are rarely on view at SAMA, illustrate the development of funerary objects over the course of this formative ancient dynasty.

Watchtower and Moat ChinaWarrior on Horseback China