Chinese Shrine Rubbings

The Wu Family Shrines

The International Museum of Art has a collection of rubbings from the Wu Family Shrines located in Shandong, China. These giants tombs were constructed at the height of Confucianism during the Han Dynasty (206 BCE–220 CE). Confucianism emphasized the reverence of ancestors (both dead and living), so giant tombs paying homage to the ancestors of the wealthy began to be constructed throughout China. These burial chambers, much like those of ancient Egypt, were loaded with art and treasures. The walls and ceilings of these shrines were carved with elaborate designs, showing scenes of the burial of the deceased, tributes to his life, or religious images.

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