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HOME : Chinese Art : Masterpieces of Chinese Art : Northern Qi Painted Pottery Bull with Medallions
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Northern Qi Painted Pottery Bull with Medallions - DL.2079
Origin: Hebei Province
Circa: 550 AD to 577 AD
Dimensions: 12.89" (32.7cm) high x 13.58" (34.5cm) wide
Collection: Chinese
Medium: Terracotta
Condition: Extra Fine

Location: UAE
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As implied by its short duration, the Northern Qi Dynasty was a turbulent time in the vast history of China. Locusts plagued the lands, ruining the crops. Hunger and ethnic feuding ravaged the population. Despite this unrest the arts continued to flourish, as witnessed by this extraordinary powerful representation of a bull. The animal’s stance is assertive, with its four legs positioned firmly on the corners of the integral rectangular plinth. The head is raised, with the mouth slightly ajar, as if warning off a potential aggressor. The figurine is in excellent condition with considerable traces of the original red polychromy. The expertly modeled horns create a striking silhouette, contrasting with the sheer bulk of the bull’s body. There is considerable attention to detail in the modelling. Particularly striking is the elaborate harness with medallions, used to shackle this powerful animal.

During this period sculptural effigies of domesticated animals were often interred in the tombs of the nobility and elite members of the social hierarchy. Created in all media, these sculptures accompanied the spirit of the deceased into the afterlife. This bull effigy has served its eternal purpose well. Today, it continues to nourish our souls with its beauty and grace. - (DL.2079)


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