This is the last part, Part 3, of the Chinese Ancient Bronzes exhibit at the Chicago Art Institute.
Besides the bronze objects themselves, the exhibit included rubbings and paintings of these objects, including of emperors surrounded by and admiring their collections of bronzes, and members of the intellectual elite studying them.
The following scroll is about 50 feet long and shows 45 bronze vessels in composite rubbbings. This and other scrolls like it were made by a group of skilled craftsmen for the celebrated collector Wu Dacheng (see his portrait above).
An example of a contemporary artist’s rendition of an ancient bronze vessel is this painting of a wine vessel from the late Shang Dynasty (13th-11th centuries BCE); the original bronze vessel is located at the Shanghai Museum of Ancient Art.
Chinese artist Hong Hou (b. 1960) mixes painting and photography in a fusion of old and new.
Music was used in ancient rituals and was meant to imitate the sounds of nature. Bells in varying sizes were often accompanied by an orchestra of traditional Chinese musical instruments. The two videos from following these pictures were downloaded from YouTube. The first is music of Chinese bells alone, while the second has information and various examples of ancient Chinese music using bronze bells.
At the end of the exhibit was an activity: paper and pencils were provided to use to create our own “rubbings” of motifs commonly used in Chinese antiquities.