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“Beauty Incarnation – Han and Roman Female Cultural Relics Exhibition” Kicks off


CHANGSHA, China, June 26, 2024 /Xinhua-AsiaNet/–

On the morning of June 15, the “Beauty Personalized – Han and Roman Female Cultural Relics Exhibition” kicked off in the Hunan Museum. Precious national cultural relics, such as genuine unlined clothes of plain yarn with curving-front, are exhibited for the first time. The exhibition will last until October 7.

Image: “Beauty Incarnation – Han and Roman Female Cultural Relics Exhibition” kicks off.

The exhibition, planned jointly by the Hunan Museum and Roman Cultural Heritage Supervision Administration, displays more than 200 pieces/set exhibits from 19 museums, including the Hunan Museum and Musei Capitolini (Capitoline Museums) of Rome, Italy. Items on show include bronze works, pottery, gold and silver ware, glassware, textiles, jade ware, and sculpture.

The exhibition, with a focus on women and three main spheres of their lives – their family lives, social lives and emotional lives – presents colorful female narratives in Eastern and Western cultures 2,000 years ago. By engaging Eastern and Western cultural relics in an engaging and meaningful dialogue, it reveals the cultural characteristics of the unique beauty of women from different cultural backgrounds and their pursuit of the value of shared aesthetics.  

The unlined clothes of plain yarn with curving-front, displayed for the first time, represent the peak of textile technology in the Western Han Dynasty. With a weight of 48g, it is to date the earliest example of such thin and light clothing made of undyed plain silk with square holes and a cuff and collar decorated with silk. It was unearthed from Tomb One at Mawangdui, or the Tomb of Xinzui, who, according to historical records, was the wife of Li Cang, Prime Minister of the Changsha State of the Western Han. She lived more than 2,200 years ago, and died at around the age of 50.

Also on display for the first time is a remnant of clothing with a pattern reading “live a long and happy life”. The relics of the clothing were from a bamboo box in the west of Mawangdui Tomb 3, where there were “two boxes of clothes”. The characters for “live a long and happy life” are the earliest loom-woven specimens of their kind to be found in unearthed silk fabrics.

On its first public exhibition is the “Painted Plaster Mural of Perseus and Andromeda”, a Roman treasure from Capitoline Museums. The director of the Roman Cultural Heritage Supervision Administration told the media, “This half-moon mural, from the second half of the 4th century AD, depicts a mythological story of heroes saving beauty.” The 138 Roman pieces/sets of exhibits on display are mainly from the Capitoline Museums, all exhibited in China for the first time.

Source: Hunan Museum