A Comparison of Qin and Chu States inTerms of Bronze Sculpture
The state of Chu, from the time Xiong Yi setting up the state to Xiong Tong reined as the king, they lived in the land of head-hunters along the Changjiang River with little communications with the Central Plains States. In that time, the bronze sculpture found in Chu was scarcely and the already known ones are musical instruments and weapons without any sign of sacrificial bronze sculpture. Whereas in the early Spring and Autumn period, very occasionally unearthed ritual bronze sculpture whose shapes and types resembles the ones in the Central Plains. As a result, we can deduce that right then Chu may have not their own sacrificial bronzes. As for the emergence of the musical instruments and weapons, they are probably affected by the barbarians. With the military expansion of Qin and Chu, a series of changes happened in the bronze sculpture.
Mu Gong defeated the state of Jin winning the west land of the Yellow River and dominated west Rong suppressing Guan Zhong. From then on, the national power of Qin started to strengthen and began its policy of expanding to the east for a time. Later on, Qin’s contact with the Central Plains increased, reflected in the introduction of pan patterns, panlian wen of the Central Plains bronze sculpture in the aspect of bronze culture. After Xian Gong, in the wake of Qin resorting military forces to Jin with one victory after another, its development of the china bronze sculpture commenced to have dramatic changes. The tiny bronze sculpture funerary that prevailed in the Spring and Autumn Period had all gone and then were replaced by larger types of practical bronzes of the Central Plains like tripod, fu, bell, etc. Comparatively speaking, starting at King Wu, Chu set about outward expansion and conquered the minority nations more that once, exterminating Shen, Xi, Deng and a series of minority countries. All these have been reflected in the bronze sculpture. A large number of ritual vessels turned up and the specifications varied with the status of the owner of the tomb, indicating the bronze ritual system heading for completion.
However, due to the differences on the geographical and historical traditions, the chinese bronze sculpture of Qin and Chu, in the evolution, distinguished greatly from each other:
In the first place, different feudal estates gave rise to diversity of the bronze culture in the early period of these two countries.
Qin’s territory was Qi Feng, the former haunt of the Zhou Dynasty. For this reason, this place was deeply influenced by the culture of the Western Zhou resulting in the shapes and types of bronze containers of Qin in a state of great impact of the Western Zhou culture, maintaining the same altitude. On the contrary, the territory of Chu, Danyang, at present, regardless of accurate evidence, one point was certain that it was an original land of Zhou. Therefore, Chu was less influenced by Zhou’s culture. The situation that no sacrificial bronze statue or less importance on them in the early Chu did has something to do with the custom of the barbarians.