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HOME : Chinese Art : Tang Dynasty : Tang Sculpture of an Attendant
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Tang Sculpture of an Attendant - H.750
Origin: China
Circa: 618 AD to 906 AD
Dimensions: 11.5" (29.2cm) high
Collection: Chinese
Medium: Painted Terracotta

Location: United States
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During the Tang dynasty, China enjoyed a period of consolidation, achievement, and confidence. Tang art tends to reflect this assurance in its realism, energy, and dignity. Pottery of this era is often compared to that of Classical Greece for the sophisticated achievements in sculpting and modeling. This general type of Chinese burial art is known as mingqi. Mingqi were any of a variety of objects specifically created for interment in the tombs of elite individuals in order to provide for the afterlife. This statue represents a courtly attendant who is patiently awaiting the commands of his noble master in the afterlife. The original pigment that once covered this sculpture has survived the ravages of centuries remarkably intact. He wears a bright red tunic that hangs over his rich green trousers. His face has also been elegantly detailed with each whisker of his moustache and eyebrows delicately applied as well as the pupils of his eyes. The details are remarkable and he almost appears to stare back at us. He has been to the afterlife and returned to another era. What secrets might he share with us? While once intended solely to be an eternal companion and attendant to the needs of his deceased lord, now this sculpted figure functions on his own as a vibrant relic of history and as a spectacular work of art. - (H.750)


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