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Eurosasian Nomadic culture art.

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Xiongnu Art




The so-called zoomorphic bronzes (plaques and buckles of various forms, buttons etc.) which display illustrations of various animals can be considered to be among the most impressive examples of Hsiungnu art. Examples of this artwork have been encountered in the Hsiung-nu sites of Trans-Baikalia, south Siberia , Mongolia and northern China . As a whole, there is no doubt that many of the images of Hsiungnu art, including the decorative bronzes, have parallels with the “Scytho-Siberian Zoomorphic Style”. Consequently, scholars have considered Hsiungnu art to be one of the developmental stages of this style. At the same time, however, a number of other Hsiungnu bronzes can be described using terms derived from a geometric style. These designs include “latticework” or “openwork” which can be found on belt plates, in addition to smaller artifacts including points and buttons. The origins of the geometric component of the art of the Hsiungnu are not entirely clear, since these objects do not find direct analogies among the Scythian cultures of Siberia and Central Asia . A detailed analysis of these artifacts has identified an evolutionary sequence which sees their origin in the zoomorphous “Scytho-Siberian” representations, most of which were strongly influenced by Near Eastern art. The objective of the following paper is to illustrate this origin through an examination of a number of pieces of the Hsiungnu geometric artwork.


Buckle plaques for the upper belt of a dress


It is possible to most clearly demonstrate the origins of “lattice-work” buckle plates. One of the most famous compositions of this style is a scene displayed on a gold plaque from the Peter the Great Collection, which displays fantastic animals standing beside a symbolic tree (Fig. 1c). The piece is encompassed by a rectangular frame, positioned on which are leaf-shaped pits for the inlay. The tree and the animals are well modeled, and the animal heads are quite realistic. It is probable that plates of this type were the prototypes for the manufacture of Hsiungnu bronze plaques, but during the course of repeated copying and re-casting many original details have been lost. The heads of animals, rendered in the same manner as those on gold plates from the Peter the Great Collection, are preserved in the frames of a number of bronze plates; probably the earliest examples of such objects. The composition as a whole at this stage, however, does not yet display evidence for a geometric interpretation. The frames of the plates become smoother, the branches of the tree disappear and it is transformed into broken zigzag lines combined with animal paws. These zigzags tie the frame of the plate to a direct line in the center of the piece which may depict the trunk of the initial symbolical tree in an extremely stylized manner (Fig. 1d). As a result of repeated reproduction, a stylization of the initial zoomorphic scene is apparent; the animal heads are now depicted by several pits, but eventually these pits also disappear. Consequently, the original scene depicting animals stranding beside a tree has developed into a geometric composition. The latest buckle plates have the appearance of trapeziums with zigzag edges and have little, if anything, in common with the original composition (Fig. 1e). The later craftspeople who moulded the buckles added a number of different details to the compositions in some cases including “foliage” on the framework of buckles which display “zigzags” (Fig. 1f ). It is probable, however, that by this stage the semantics and images of the initial scene were not clearly understoo

Edited by Lion.Kanzen
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21 minutes ago, Genava55 said:

Seriously, a new thread?

Why not?

That's much more complex than I thought,.

I basically need new art references for Scythians  and for the Xiongnu.

In other words, it is more specialized than others.

Do you have any other precedent?

If I remember we don't have any patterns topic.

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