The Search for Immortality: Tomb Treasures of Han China - Museum Bookstore

The Search for Immortality: Tomb Treasures of Han China

Regular price £42.95

'one of those landmark shows that shed new light on a crucial historical period in one of the world’s great civilizations' - New York Times

The Search for Immortality - The Fitzwilliam Museum 

The Han dynasty was the first to forge a stable empire governing all of China. It ruled during a golden age that shaped much of the nation's cultural history and development. In an effort to preserve their legacy of beauty and power, the Han created elaborate tombs containing exquisite artistic treasures intended for use in the afterlife.

The finest of these treasures to have survived include exquisite jades, bronzes, and ceramics, found in the tombs of the Han imperial family and of a rival "emperor" of Nanyue. Many of the items, including warrior statues, dancing figures, and priceless jewels-intended to ensure protection, entertainment, and continued wealth and status, respectively-are brought together for the first time in this stunning publication. Featuring newly commissioned photography and essays by leading scholars, this sumptuously illustrated catalogue to the Fitzwilliam Museum's 2012 show presents a ground-breaking account of the finest treasures from the Han dynasty.

  • Author: James C.S Lin
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Date published: June 2012
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 978-0300184341
  • Product Dimensions: 29.7 x 24.9x 3 cm

'[The exhibition] seeks to introduce visitors to ancient Han ideas about immortality and to explain what life was like at the Han courts, which the tomb-palaces mirror. It works exceptionally well' - The Economist

'one of those landmark shows that shed new light on a crucial historical period in one of the world’s great civilizations' - New York Times

'It is a compelling tale not so much of death but of life and the quest for immortality, as told through the real and the symbolic, the everyday and the supernatural. The panoply of life in a western Han court is here – from the functionaries to the musicians and long-sleeved dancers, the chefs, grooms and other servants' - The FT