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A Glance at NM C Masterpieces


Many who haven’t spent much time exploring the Louvre often rush directly to Mona Lisa, perhaps the world’s most famous painting and the museum’s most distinguished exhibit. Similar behavior happens at the National Museum of China (NMC). Due to its abundant collections, it takes an entire day even to rush past all its exhibits. For those who only have a couple of hours to visit the museum,what should they see?

The following masterpieces consistently draw the greatest attention at NMC.

Hou Mu Wu Rectangular Cauldron (ding)

Called the “king of bronze ware,” Hou Mu Wu Rectangular Cauldron measures 133 centimeters tall, 122 centimeters long, and 79.2 centimeters wide, with a six-centimeter-thick wall and a total weight of 832.84 kilograms. It is the heaviest single bronze ritual vessel ever unearthed in China. Its name is derived from the three Chinese characters - Hou, Mu, and Wu - inscribed on the inside of its body. The vessel was commissioned by the son of Wu Ding, a king of the Shang Dynasty (1600-1046 BC), to carry out sacrificial rituals for his mother, Fu Hao. 

Square Vessel (zun) with Four Rams

The square vessel with four rams measures 58.3 centimeters in height and 34.5 kilograms in weight, and each side of its square mouth is 52.4 centimeters long. Dubbed the best paradigm of traditional clay molding techniques, it preserves some incomparable bronze casting.

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