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China Seal Museum


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China Seal Museum (中国印学博物馆, the official website affiliated to the official website of Xiling Society of Seal Arts - is China’s only themed museum with seal arts research and exhibition. It is a part of Xiling Society of Seal Arts to express the great tradition of this century-old non-governmental group, who takes the mission of inheriting the art of seal, studying the art of seal and promoting the art of seal.

China Seal Museum located on the south side of the Solitary Hill and near to the Xiling Bridge is a two-layer building with a China-western architectural style. Close to the West Lake, the whole building is so eye-catching, especially that huge white marble seal-shape statue. This is a symbolic statue of this museum with a height of 4.2 meters. On the body of the seal statue, there are seven huge calligraphic Chinese characters, which is the Chinese name of this museum, and it was inscribed by Zhao Puchu, the former president of Xiling Society of Seal Arts and the famous Buddhist and calligrapher.

The Seal Arts in China is called Jin Shi Zhi Xue, or The Study of the Metal and Stone Inscriptions. It is an exclusive art and interest popular with the social and cultural elites who had a better traditional education or were the academic scholars in some way. This is a lower-cost artistic form in China with a higher requirement in personal cultivation, traditional cultural studying. So in China, it had a history more than 3,700 years of history, but still is an art belonging to the minority of the population. In the ancient times, it was a symbol of personal identity, and the emperors and kings’ symbol of power or the god-given right to administrate the state or the country. So usage of the seal was quite popular and universal to a most degree, similar to today’s ID Card. That could be an explanation to why there are so many seal prints available in the ancient paintings. That is for a mark to tell people that this painting I have appreciated.

Xiling Society of Seal Arts keeps an academic principle of preserving the seal heritages and studying the seal knowledge. It is the most authoritative institute of seal study in the world, and respected to be the sacred land of seal arts.

What to see in the museum

chinese seal museum
Xiling Society of Seal Arts

The History Display of Xiling Society of Seal Arts – This is a highlighted part of the museum. Through the Hongxue Path(an elegant name, 鸿雪径, on the way, travelers can see a stone inscription inlayed in the cliff, which is named Ying Zang, literally the treasure of seals, and written by Ye Ming, an early founder of this society. In the zone, there was the seal of Master Hongyi (Li Shutong), who was a great master of arts in the modern China and the monk of Hupao Temple and also the early member of Xiling Society of Seal Arts, and he saved his personal seals here in order to make it permanently exist) and Shanchuan Yulu Library(山川雨露图书室, one of the main buildings in the early period and established in 1912. The calligraphy was created by Weng Fanggang, a famous scholar in late Qing Dynasty), travelers get to Bai Tang(柏堂, The Cypress Hall), which is the site of history exhibition of Xiling Society of Seal Arts. There are lot of full and accurate data recording the hard times of this society and the honor of this holy land. Xiling Society of Seal Arts is the earliest seal art and research group in China.

The Hall of Seal Art Branches – it lies on the second floor, in which all the schools and achievements are displayed here. Wen Peng and He Zhen’s seal arts, which opened a main tendency for seal art creation. Ding Jing’s art form represented the eight founders’ achievements. Deng Shiru’s artistic style is the representative of seal arts in Anhui province. What is more, the artistic masterpieces of six masters in late Qing Dynasty, who were Wu Rangzhi, Wu Changshuo, Zhao Zhiqian, Hu Jue, Xu Sangeng and Huang Mufu.

Additionally, the ancient seals of different dynasties – the main place to view the history of seal arts in ancient China.

More to read - Xiling Soicety of Seal Arts, Han Sanlao Stele, Sun Yat-sen Park

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