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HOME : Chinese Art : Masterpieces of Chinese Art : Tang Dynasty Painted Pottery Fat Lady
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Tang Dynasty Painted Pottery Fat Lady - DL.2066
Origin: China
Circa: 618 AD to 907 AD
Dimensions: 15.5" (39.4cm) high
Collection: Chinese Art
Medium: Terracotta


Location: UAE
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Description
During the Tang Dynasty restrictions were placed on the number of objects that could be included in tombs, an amount determined by an individual's social rank. In spite of the limitations, a striking variety of tomb furnishings, known as mingqi, have been excavated. Entire retinues of ceramic figures - animals, entertainers, musicians, guardians - were buried with the dead in order to provide for the afterlife. Of the various types of mingqi, there is perhaps none more charming than the beautiful sculptures of elegant female courtiers, sometimes known as “Fat Ladies” for their fleshy faces. These gorgeous women reflect the appreciation of the female form during the Tang Dynasty.

This sophisticated woman provided eternal companionship for her lord throughout the afterlife. We can imagine her gracefully dancing or singing a poetical song, two popular customs for ladies during the Tang Dynasty. Such courtiers are described in the numerous love poems written during this era, considered a golden age of Chinese culture. This stunning lady wears her hair in an elegant coiffure arranged in a lopsided bun that crowns her head. Her sumptuous long sleeved dress equals the beauty of her sophisticated hairstyle. Traces of a floral motif that decorated her costume remain intact, as does the pigment on her red lips. Such women may represent wives, princesses, or attendants. Their beauty inspires us as we are transported back to another time. This gorgeous sculpture has been to the next world and returned to our modern era to tell us her tale. She speaks of the enormous wealth and sophisticated culture of the Tang Dynasty, one of the greatest periods of artistic creation in human history. - (DL.2066)

 

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