The Archaic China in the heart of Rome

Studio Tablinum: In central Rome an event opens the first of a series of exhibitions about Chinese civilization. The exhibition shows 150 artefacts ranging from the late Neolithic period until the unification of the empire. Among the most valuable pieces, the tomb of Queen Fu Hao, discovered in 1976 in the archaeological site of Yin Xu, included in 2006 in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.


The historic Palazzo Venezia, just north of the Capitoline Hill, hosts the exhibition Archaic China (3500 BC. – 221 BC.), from June 2013 up to March 20, 2014; edited by Art Exhibitions China.

The exhibition opens with the work (2012) by Wu Weishan, a contemporary Chinese sculptor; it represents the imaginary conversation between the Italian eclectic engineer and artist Leonardo da Vinci and the great Chinese painter Qi Baishi (2012), to signify the dialogue between the two countries.

The exhibition is included in the five-year partnership agreement signed in October 2010 between the State Administration of Cultural Heritage of China and the Italian Ministry for the Promotion of Cultural Heritage, which provides for the exchange of permanent museum space dedicated to their respective cultures.

The National Museum of China in Beijing opened in July 2012 “Spazio Italia”, with the exhibition The Renaissance in Florence. Masterpieces and Protagonists (July 6, 2012 – April 30, 2013), registering 320 thousand visitors; the next exhibition in Beijing will be focus on Roman Baroque. In Italy we start with the exhibition at the Palazzo Venezia on Late Neolithic in China, while the next will concern the modern and contemporary period.

The approximately 150 precious artifacts come from collections of Shanxi, Shandong, Hubei and Sichuan. Some of them have never been exhibited in Italy, like the head of bronze with gold mask coming from the Sanxingdui Museum and the bronze bells dating from the Sui dynasty during the Warring States era. Through these precious handmade you’ll learn the historical path of Chinese civilization from five thousand years ago until the first unification under the emperor Qin Shi Huang in 221 BC.

The exhibition is split into five different sections: the dawn of civilization, the coming of the kingdom, the sacrifices to the gods and ancestors, the music linked to the ceremonies, the Warring States era. The public will know the most characteristic aspects of each time in order to have a historical and cultural context of that legendary period. The initiative, in addition to strengthening the institutional relations between Italy and China, offers the opportunity to explore the history of a country whose culture is still too little known in the West.

Francesca Corsi