August 25, 2007

Creatures From a Han Bronze




In a museum in Zurich I came across a Han dynasty Bronze of a magic mountain. The object had probably originally been used as a censer. The low relief carving on the surface sported exotic beasts, trees and mountains. The trees and animals were on the same scale as the mountains, which made them look like they were encapsulated. The art of Han dynasty China has a very pleasing, flowing form. Everything dances and one has the impression that it was an exuberant time in history. The pencil interpretation I just finished includes my impressions of these delicate Han entities as well as some which probably date from a later period. The monster with the raised arms was originally neuter but in my rendering I gave it a female gender. The original form inspired a relief sculpture of a dancing cat that I created for my show at the Pinckney Simmons Gallery last year. The sculpture is ceramic with a glass backround. In the greenware stage of this piece, while I was cleaning and tooling, I inadvertantly knocked the head off. The head rolled onto the upraised foot of the dancer and fit so perfectly that there it stays. I made a new second head for the shoulders.

2 comments:

Ebb Tide said...

Thanks for the short but interesting article on the art of Han dynasty. Your pencil interpretation is much appreciated.

Jessthom said...

I love the fluid lines of the horse pictured in your August 20 blog, Janet.