Eastern Zhou

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Scope note
Refers to the culture, style, and period of the Zhou dynasty from 771 to 256 BCE. The Eastern Zhou period is said to have begun when the Zhou, fleeing attacking tribes, moved their capital from Xi'an to Luoyang. This geographical break with the preceding Shang dynasty was reflected in the art of the Eastern Zhou period. Late Eastern Zhou art, in particular, displays a remarkable diversity and skill. Low-fired burial figurines (mingqi) were used more, possibly influenced by Confucian dictum against human sacrifice. Low-fired green lead-glazed wares, soft, polished black wares, and some high-fired glazed wares were made in the Eastern Zhou period. Brightly painted ceramics were made to imitate newly popular lacquerware while other ceramics were made to imitate bronzes. Molded and decorated ceramic tiles and bricks were produced. Jade carving, which had decreased in the Western Zhou period, became important again as burial objects and objects of personal adornment. Bronzes became more secular and were often given as wedding presents for household decoration. Bronze bells and mirrors became popular. Totemic animals and monsters were replaced by colorful, formalized decorative schemes. The earliest examples of paintings on silk have been discovered in Eastern Zhou tombs. Precursors of the burial pottery of the Han and Tang dynasties have also been found.
Eastern Zhou
Accepted term: 13-May-2024