The sculptures

Sculpture is an art practiced in China long before the Common Era. The most famous example of the talent of these artists is certainly the buried army of the mausoleum of the Qin emperor who lived in the 3rd century BC. More than 8,000 painted clay statues representing soldiers and horses of incredible realism have been discovered on the site to date.

However, Chinese sculpture really took off at the same time as Buddhism came from India in the middle of the 1st century. From that time on, artists produced a large number of religious paintings and sculptures. The Buddhist caves of Yungang, Binglingsi, Longmen and Mogao bear witness to the importance and development of the religion. These sanctuaries, consisting of a large number of caves and chapels dug by Buddhist monks in the cliffs, house several tens of thousands of statues of Buddha and his disciples represented in different styles, making it possible to date them with great precision. Some of these statues are carved in high relief in the rock and can be more than 25 meters high, others, of smaller dimensions, are made of terracotta sometimes with polychrome glaze.

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Japan is also a country known for its sculptures that have been influenced by China and Buddhism while retaining its specificities and cultural identity derived from Shintoism. Clay figurines, the dogū, have gradually given way to statues made of metal, mainly bronze, and lacquered, gilded or painted wood. The features of the characters are clearly different from those found in China. Objects intended for an auction of Chinese or Japanese sculptures can be appraised by specialists in Asian antiquities. Based on the materials used and the style of the figurine or statue, they will be able to determine its provenance, its age and give an estimate of its price.
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