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HOME : Chinese Art : Han Horses : Han Terracotta Sculpture of a Horse
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Han Terracotta Sculpture of a Horse - H.518
Origin: China
Circa: 206 BC to 220 AD
Dimensions: 10.25" (26.0cm) high
Catalogue: V17
Collection: Chinese
Medium: Terracotta

$9,000.00
Location: United States
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Description
With earthen residue adhering to its surface, this pottery tomb figure of a horse conveys a sense of liveliness through the curvature of the body and facial expression. Its gentle smile and lightly defined eyes give the impression of serenity while its solid, shortened body, saddled and assuming a stance of readiness, indicate its utility in battle. Horses were greatly prized during the Han. Expansionist policies coupled with the growing threat of the Xiongnu tribes along the northern borders of China during the Eastern Han necessitated the acquisition of superior horses in order to achieve a peerless military force. After concerted military and political efforts, the Han rulers succeeded in ensuring a supply of superb horses from the region of Fergana to the west of China. Referred to as "celestial horses," this breed of horses captured the imagination of artisans whose depiction of them vary significantly. The exaggerated arch of the neck, prominent forelock that extends out between the ears, and cocked hind leg are characteristic of the portrayal of this horse. However, the thick haunches and stout, sturdy appearance of the body reveal the craftsman sensitive observation to the muscularity of this breed. It is surely a masterpiece of its time. - (H.518)

 

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