|Form: There are three pits: the
first consists of foot soldiers, the second of calvary and the third of
officers. The officers pit in decorated like a tent. The tombs
face east towards the states the Qin's were fighting. The individuals
in height from 5' 8" to 6'. The heads and hands were made separately
and there are five to ten facial types but they are not modeled after individuals.
There is a great variety of clothes, hair and poses. There are at
least seven thousand clay figures and wooden or gilt bronze chariots.
The clay figures would have originally been polychromed. All of the
figures are highly detailed and realistic.
The statues of the infantry soldiers range between 5 foot
8 inches and 6 foot 2 inches; the commanders are 6 and half feet tall.
The lower half of the kiln-fired ceramic bodies were made of solid terracotta
clay, the upper half hollow. It is evident that the statues were vividly
painted including a color called Chinese purple; although most of that
paint has flown, traces of it may be seen on some of the statues.
The following is quoted from:
Hand-in-sleeves pottery sculpture, terra cotta warriors
Experts have confirmed that the material used to mould
the terracotta warriors and horses is a "yellow earth" sourced from around
the mausoleum. The yellow earth is easy to obtain, and is proved to be
an appropriate material due to its adhesive quality and plasticity. The
earth underwent screening and grinding to remove impurities and to ensure
it was fine and pure. Moreover, a certain amount of white grit which contained
quartz sand, mica and feldspar was added. Adding grit to the earth strengthened
its mechanical properties which allowed the large terracotta warriors and
horses to be easily shaped.
Experts have reconstructed the techniques for making the
warriors by repeatedly observing, comparing and researching the figures
during their sorting out and preparatory work.
The Making of Terracotta Warrior's Head: the shaping of
the terracotta warrior's head is generally acknowledged to be the most
difficult, and the procedure was very complicated. First, artisans molded
an inner core roughly in head shape, and then applied several layers of
mud to get different facial shapes. Finally by kneading, carving, scraping
and pasting, artisans successively drew eyebrows, eyes, noses, mouths,
ears, hair buns and hat decorations for the heads of terracotta warriors.
They drew each figure with a distinctive face, and experts have confirmed
that these facial features were reproductions of individual Qin warriors.
The Making of Terracotta Warrior's Body: Artisans used
mud to make a rough cast which was molded from bottom to top in sections.
First they made the foot plate which was molded in a square pattern;
A statue of a general, terra cotta warriors
A Statue of a General
the feet were the next and above which were connected
the two legs and short pants. In order to represent muscles and bones to
make the legs more lifelike, artisans would do some detailed repair. The
way to make short pants was to carve a circle with a cord pattern above
which were pasted prefabricated pieces of mud to mould as pant leg. Next
was the hollow torso. It was made by winding strips of clay upwards. In
order to make the clay strips tight and strong, artisans would put sackcloth
inside as underlay and this was pounded from outside until they got a satisfactory
shape and size. After the torso had been dried in the shade, artisans attached
the hollow arms. The straight arm was built by adopting the clay-strip
forming technique. Divided by the elbow, the bent arm was made in separate
pieces and then glued together. The warrior's hand was inserted and pasted
onto the arm.
The figures of the terracotta warriors and horses were
fired in kilns. In order to be well ventilated, the Qin artisans left holes
in the figures in appropriate position. For example, in the terracotta
horse's belly, there were two holes through which flames could evenly enter
the horse's body cavity. During the firing, artisans paid special attention
to the degree of heating which was maintained around 1,000 C (1,830 F).
Moreover, experts did many experiments and found that the figures were
put head over heels during firing. This was because the upper part of the
figure was heavier than the lower part. It was comparatively more stable
to put the figures upside down, which shows that Chinese workers had mastered
the centre-of-gravity rule as early as two thousand years ago.
Glazing and Coloring
The terra cotta warriors have different faces and expressions.
They have different faces.
The Qin terracotta warriors we see today are steel grey
without fresh colors. But archaeological investigations have found that
this was not the original color of the mighty force. In the April of 1999,
there were astonishingly unearthed six kneeling armored warriors whose
bodies retained large sections of colorful painting, which demonstrated
that the Qin's artisans had elaborately painted the terracotta warriors
and horses after firing, to make this majestic army more lifelike.
Experts have found that the ways used to paint these six
warriors were different. For some, one or two layers of raw lacquer were
applied on certain parts, and for the others, they first painted a layer
of raw lacquer, and added one or two layers of pigment above the raw lacquer.
The figures were gaily colored. The hair buns were reddish brown, faces
were pink, hands were dark red or white, legs were pinkish green or dark
red and they wore pinkish green robes and reddish brown shoes.
Iconography: The immense army is a symbol
of the Qin Shihuangdi power. The army serves as a guardian to his
tomb but may also have represented his actual living army. In a way,
the army and figures are representations of the emperor's power on the
earth and his attempt to take this power with him into the next world.
Accounts of the tomb they guard (the tomb itself is still unexcavated)
describe a facsimile world complete with buildings, rivers and stars placed
in the heavens. This world would be the also be a representation
of the actual topography of the Qin kingdom.
The opulence and expense of making such highly detailed
soldiers and the use of such grand materials in the tomb is a form
of conspicuous consumption. This kind of consumption of wealth for
its own sake might be viewed be viewed as iconic of the wealth and power
of the emperor.
Context: Under King Chung, the Qin were able
to unify a large part of China. King Chung proclaimed himself the
first emperor of China. As king, he created a modern central capitol,
Xiang, with city planing and public works. He standardized the language,
weight system and money. King Chung centralized the government and
unified and linked together all of the northern walls to form the Great
Wall of China. He was against Confucianism and persecuted he scholars
and burned the texts. He created many palaces and patronized the
arts. His empire crumbled four years after his death. His tomb
has yet to be excavated, the Chinese are waiting until they have enough
money to do it properly. King Chung's tomb was begun before his rise
to power. It took thirty eight years to create. It contains
a palace and a fake map. There are constellations made of pearls
on the ceiling and mercury rivers. The hill that originally covered
the burial sites was over six hundred feet tall. Well diggers discovered
the site when they stumbled across pits one and three. It is thought
that surrounding the already discovered areas may lie a funerary palace
like the one the emperor lived in while he was alive.
The army guards the actual tomb of Qin Shihuangdi.
Written and legendary accounts of the tomb (the tomb itself is still unexcavated)
describe a realistic landscape complete with buildings, rivers and stars
placed in the heavens. The rivers are supposed to flow with liquid mercury
and the stars in the heavens (the ceiling of the tomb) are pearls.