Exhibitions/ Innovation and Spectacle

Innovation and Spectacle: Chinese Ritual Bronzes

At The Met Fifth Avenue
October 18, 2014–March 22, 2015
Exhibitions are free with Museum admission.

Exhibition Overview

This exhibition features three spectacular ritual vessels from the fifth century b.c. that have never before been displayed together outside China. Lent by the Shanghai Museum, these wine vessels—a pair of pear-shaped containers and a unique four-legged vessel in the form of a fantastic buffalo—exemplify the artistic sophistication and technical virtuosity of the Houma foundry, a major center of bronze casting in the Eastern Zhou dynasty (770–256 b.c.). The bronzes are accompanied by two ceramic mold fragments, illustrating how the bronzes' intricate surface décor was achieved, and by a small number of related bronzes from the Metropolitan's collection.


Exhibition Objects





Ritual Wine Container in the Shape of a Buffalo (Xizun; detail), early 5th century B.C. Eastern Zhou dynasty (770–256 B.C.), Spring and Autumn period (770–476 B.C.). Bronze. Lent by the Shanghai Museum