China is an ancient, peculiar and very mysterious country for the perception of a European brought up on completely different traditions. The mastery of Chinese carvers and stonecutters is so great that it still amazes with its perfection many sculpture lovers from around the globe.
Over the centuries of civilization, many unique statues have been created in this country, from small images to huge impressive monumental sculptures. Of particular interest are the specific Chinese animal statues - mythological dragons, lions, stone bisi turtles, bearing massive stone steles on their backs. All these images are deeply specific - not every beginner will say for sure what this or that statue depicts.
Chinese lions are especially unusual, they do not resemble real, real animals in any way; rather, this is the artist's idea of this animal, its internal image. Dragons are also very different from the usual European images of these mythical creatures. In the Chinese version, they are squat, powerful, with a large head and mouth, decorated with many sharp teeth, and they also have a long mustache and other extraordinary jewelry.
Somewhat apart is the stone-cutting craftsmanship of China. In this country, it has reached incredible heights, especially in the processing of the sacred and incredibly dense stone - jade. Many various products were made from it, including small statues for temples and imperial chambers.
At the mention of the sculpture of China, many recall the famous terracotta army of the first emperor Qin Shi Huang, buried in his tomb. This stunning creation of ancient masters is distinguished by the fact that the statues of hundreds of clay soldiers are obviously portrait portraits of real people. But few people know that this army is not the only one. The heirs of the first emperor tried to imitate him in everything and also went into the other world, surrounded by hosts of servants, warriors and even pets from terracotta. These statues were more modest in size, but also differed in incredible skill of the image: the figures of the soldiers were made of burnt clay, skillfully painted, dressed in elegant clothes made of silk and equipped with the appropriate weapons. Unlike the Qin Shihuandi army, these warriors had wooden hands.
Speaking of Chinese sculpture, one cannot but mention the giant stone Buddha from Leshan, carved in the thickness of the rock. This statue, 71 meters high, was created for 90 years, that is, several generations of talented sculptors and carvers worked on it. To create the Buddha, an amazing engineering skill was required, because only great and unusually talented people could create such a statue from a mass of stone. Until the XVII century, the statue was closed around the neck with a huge "hanging" wooden temple, unfortunately, killed in a fire.
The traditions of ancient masters are successfully continued by modern Chinese sculptors. They work both in avant-garde styles and adhere to the classic, centuries-old images of local art.
We also have a small section on the site dedicated to museums in China. By clicking on the link you can familiarize yourself with it.