Terracotta Army Legacy of the First Emperor of China Li Jian, Hou-Mei Sung, Zhang Weixing, William Neer

Publication date:
06 Feb 2018
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
132 pages: 305 x 229mm
149 color + b-w illus.
Sales territories:

A richly illustrated book featuring recent revelations about China’s first emperor, Ying Zheng, and his famous burial site containing an army of life-size terracotta soldiers and other artifacts 

First discovered by a farmer in 1974, the burial site of China’s first emperor, Ying Zheng, has yielded thousands of life-size terracotta figures and artifacts, and continues to be excavated today. This fascinating publication features more than 130 works including ten of these majestic terracotta figures, arms and armor, horse and chariot fittings, ritual bronze vessels, works in gold and silver, jade ornaments, precious jewelry, and ceramics.

Dating from the Eastern Zhou dynasty (770–256 BC) through the Qin dynasty (221–206 BC), these objects represent the complex history, myths, and burial customs of ancient China. The texts introduce recent scholarship on this material culture to illuminate not only the first emperor’s burial complex, but also his powerful influence in Chinese history and the myriad ways in which his political and economic reforms transformed the daily lives of the Chinese people. 

Li Jian is E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Curator of East Asian Art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Hou-mei Sung is curator of Asian art at the Cincinnati Art Museum. Zhang Weixing is chair of the Archaeology Department at Emperor Qin Shihuang’s Mausoleum Site Museum. William Neer is curatorial assistant for East Asian art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.