Exhibitions/ Age of Empires: Chinese Art of the Qin and Han Dynasties (221 B.C.–A.D. 220)

Age of Empires: Chinese Art of the Qin and Han Dynasties (221 B.C.–A.D. 220)

At The Met Fifth Avenue
April 3–July 16, 2017
Exhibitions are free with Museum admission.

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Exhibition Overview

Featuring more than 160 objects of ancient Chinese art, this major international loan exhibition explores the unprecedented role of art in creating a new and lasting Chinese cultural identity. Synthesizing new archaeological discoveries with in-depth research performed over the last 50 years, Age of Empires introduces a transformational era of Chinese civilization to a global audience.

The works in the exhibition—extremely rare ceramics, metalwork, textiles, sculpture, painting, calligraphy, and architectural models—are drawn exclusively from 32 museums and archaeological institutions in the People's Republic of China, and a majority of the works have never before been seen in the West. Highlights include renowned terracotta army warriors and a striking statue of a seminude performer whose anatomical accuracy, unheard of in Chinese art, brings to mind Greco-Roman sculpture first introduced to Asia by Alexander the Great.

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The exhibition is made possible by
China Merchants Bank logo

Additional support is provided by the Joseph Hotung Fund, the Ing Foundation, the Henry Luce Foundation, Agnes Hsu-Tang and Oscar L. Tang in honor of Zhixin Jason Sun, the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, the Estate of Brooke Astor, the K11 Art Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Henry Luce Foundation logo

The catalogue is made possible by the Joseph Hotung Fund and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Audio Guide in English and Chinese
Supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies


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Exhibition Objects


Related Content

Four lifesized terracotta warriors and a horse

Read a Now at The Met blog post, "Making the Warrior: The Qin Terracotta Soldiers in Age of Empires," by college intern Yiren Shen.





Kneeling Archer (detail). Chinese, Qin dynasty (221–206 B.C.). Earthenware, H. 49 1/16 in. (122 cm). Qin Shihuangdi Mausoleum Site Museum, Lintong