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Sheng Ting: Gallery Label - Current


Minneapolis Institute of Arts



Institution Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Distinguished by its imposing size and formal grandeur, this magnificent ritual food vessel was cast around 575 B.C. for use in religious or state ceremonies. The term sheng ting is given to the type of tripod seen here with a flat bottom and pronounced waist. The word, sheng refers to the meat sacrifices that were offered in them. It is reportedly the second largest from a series of seven graduated ting found as a set in a tomb in southern China.

Around the cauldron body are six kuei dragons in high relief climbing upwards toward the lid. Supporting the vessel are three stout legs with stylized dragon masks cast into their shoulders. The surface is ornament with interlaced dragons, incised scale patterns, and overlapping feather-like motifs. While most of the ornament was made by traditional piece-mold technology, the six dragons, with their complex, perforated shapes, were made with the lost-wax method. In every respect, from its taut profile and exceptionally detailed surface ornament to its complex appendages, this is a masterpiece of late Chou bronze casting.

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Type: Commentary, Gallery Label - Current
Source: Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Rights: Copyright Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Added to Site: November 21, 2009