Han Mural Tombs: Reflection of Correlative Cosmology through Mural Paintings

Nataša Vampelj Suhadolnik
2011 Asian Studies  
The main research materials of this study were tombs with murals from the Han Dynasty (206 B.C.–220 A.D.). The article deals with the issue of the reflection of ancient Chinesecosmologic concepts in the iconographic design of Han mural paintings. A thorough analysis of the iconographic design of murals shows that they possessed not only a decorative function, but together with the architectural structure and other burial objects reflected the entire cosmic image. The analysis of tomb paintings
more » ... of tomb paintings reveals a developed correlative cosmology yin-yang wuxing which manifests its concrete image in symbolic codes of individual iconographic motifs. The article first displays a general review of tombs with murals, and then focuses on depictions in Han tomb murals, discussing representation of the images of celestial bodies, the symbolic polarity of the cosmical forces yin and yang, the symbolism of the four directions and the four seasons and the symbolic circling of the five xings.
doi:10.4312/as.2011.-15.1.19-48 fatcat:eafspcvy35cjbf27aeivdmnwc4