CHINAKNOWLEDGE - a universal guide for China studies | HOME | About | Guestbook |
Encoding: Unicode (UTF-8) [Location: HOME > Arts > Plastic and graphic art > Brick stone reliefs]

Chinese Arts - Plastic and Graphic Art
Brick Stone Reliefs 畫像磚

Brick stone reliefs were very popular under the Han Dynasty 漢 and often served as funeral offerings because they were much cheaper and easier to produce than stone carvings. Most of these reliefs reflect scenes of the daily life of the Han aristocracy, their court life with gamblers and musicians, huntings and excursions, but we also see detailes scenes of the peasants life during the harvest, or scenes showing artisans and craftsmen during their work. As the bas-reliefs of the black clay bricks do not clearly show their details to the observer, Chinese artists and scholars reproduced the scenes of these bricks on rubbings that were made by laying a paper on the brick and touching the protruding part of the brick with an ink tampon.
Brick stone rubbing with Fuxi and Nüwa, Eastern Han < A rubbing an Eastern Han Dynasty brick, showing the two mythical creators of the world, Fuxi 伏羲 and his sister Nüwa 女媧. They have a snake shaped body and hold geometrical instruments in their hands. Upon their heads we see the sun and the moon. Brick stone rubbing with crow and toad, Eastern Han < Another picture that shows mythical tradition is this rubbing of a brick from the Eastern Han Dynasty. These two birds with a man's head symbolize the moon and the sun. On the moon lives a toad, on the sun a crow.
Brick stone with dragon and lion, Eastern Han< Dragons and lions had already developed during the Warring States period 戰國. During the Han Dynasty they became a very popular motif. These two examples are playing with a jade disk bi 璧, a symbol of heavenly contact with the owner of the disk.
Brick stone rubbing with the Queen Mother of the West, Eastern Han < This rubbing of an Eastern Han Dynasty stone has a special religious background. Especially during the Han dynasty, the veneration of the so-called Mother Queen of the West (Xi wang mu 西王母) was very popular among many social groups, peasantry as well as upper class. In this picture, we see the mythical animals toad, crow and hare and people making chariot wheels. Coloured brick stone rubbing with chariots, Eastern Han < A red coulored rubbing of an Eastern Han stone showing a Lord on an excursion, accompanied by his servants. The rubbing scholar has added a poem.
Brick stone and rubbing with watchtower, Eastern Han < Even the architecture of the Han Dynasty can be reconstructed because a brick and its rubbing of a city gate have survived. The gate is flanked by two mighty towers with watching platforms at its top. On the roof of the gate we see a phoenix, a symbol of happiness, luck and longevity. We also find models of towers, palaces and farms in the tombs of the Han nobility that are scattered all over China. Brick stone and rubbing with chariot, Eastern Han < An item that is found in tombs and can be seen in pictorial art, is the one horse chariot of the Han dynasty. It was used by an aristocrate and the chariot leader. A halfmoon shaped axes indicates the rank of the owner of this chariot. Brick and rubbing are both conserved.
Brick stone rubbing with peasants and hunters, Eastern Han < We see not only the life of the nobility but also the daily work the peasants had to do. This rubbing of an Eastern Han brick shows two men shooting ducks and harvesting peasants. Brick stone rubbing of an inn, Eastern Han < As a source of Han social history, this picture of a store can be used as an ideal illustrative material. The trader sells sheep and a kind of wine.
Brick stone rubbing of a butcher, Easter Han < A further example of a picture that shows a scene in daily life is this rubbing of an Eastern Han brick, demonstrating the work in a butcher's shop, where we see meet being chopped, hanged up, dryed and boiled.
Brick stone with a warrior, Southern Dynasties The period of the Southern and Northern Dynasties 南北朝 was dominated by warriors of Chinese and Non-Chinese origin. This brick shows a cavarly soldier with his hearvily armoured horse. Brick stone with ladies, Southern Dynasties Southern Dynasties court ladies. On this brick we can admire the costumes, hair fashion and the large shoes of the 5th century dames à la mode.

  © 2000 ff · Ulrich Theobald · Mail