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Geometric patterns

Updated: Mar 25, 2019 Print

Cloud-and-thunder pattern

Cloud and thunder, formed by continuous, winding lines, is the most common geometric pattern decorating bronzes. The circular convoluted pattern is known as "cloud pattern" (yun wen), while the squared one is called "thunder pattern" (lei wen). A single unit of the pattern is laid out twofold or fourfold as the background pattern to accentuate the main decorative motif set against it, or to serve independently as the main motif itself. The cloud-and-thunder pattern originated from ancient people's close observation of natural phenomena, and was adopted to express people's reverence towards cloud and thunder.

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[Photo/shanghaimuseum.net]


Rope pattern

A cord-shaped pattern made of twisted wavy lines. It was formed in the late Western Zhou Dynasty.

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[Photo/IC]


Wave pattern

Popular in the middle and late Western Zhou Dynasty and the early Spring and Autumn Period, the pattern is composed of undulating lines like waves. It decorates the bronze vessel by girdling it.

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[Photo/shanghaimuseum.net]


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