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Chinese Sculpture

Undoubtedly the most famous Chinese sculptures are the Qin dynasty Terracotta Warriors in Xi'an. A total of 8,000 terracotta warriors and horses were unearthed in the 2,200-year-old mausoleum of Qin Shihuang, the first Emperor of a united China. These terracotta figures of soldiers and horses are set to life-size dimensions. Standing tall, lifelike and mobilized for action, these warriors continue to faithfully guard their monarch, as they have done for over two millennia.

Chinese Buddha sculptures, reflecting Indian and Tibetan influences, initially looked imperious, mysterious and aloof. Gradually, they evolved to reflect a more nativist Chinese style. Early examples from the 5th to 6th centuries are lean and elegant, and from the 7th to 8th centuries took a form that was plump, round and soft.

Compared with the West, there's a greater emphasis on clothing for Chinese character sculptures. Well-preserved samples of Buddhist-inspired sculptures remain in many temples, especially in the cave carvings of Yungang, Dunhuang, Longmen and Dazu.