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HOME : Chinese Art : Masterpieces of Chinese Art : Sui Dynasty Painted Pottery Horse with Long Saddle
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Sui Dynasty Painted Pottery Horse with Long Saddle - DL.2071
Origin: Shaanxi Province - 'Xi'an'
Circa: 581 AD to 618 AD
Dimensions: 9.8" (24.9cm) high x 10.6" (26.9cm) wide
Collection: Chinese Art
Medium: Terracotta
Condition: Extra Fine

Location: UAE
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Despite its brief duration, lasting for the rule of only two emperors, the Sui Dynasty paved the way for the golden age attained during the Tang Dynasty. Perhaps their most significant project was the construction of the Great Canal, an enterprise that facilitated the movement of people and goods across great distances, leading to the reunification of China. However, the cost of the Canal bankrupted the empire and ultimately led to its dissolution. The rulers of the Tang would capitalize on the infrastructure improvements of the Sui and establish one of the greatest empires in the history of China, following the footsteps of the Sui.

The important influence of the horse throughout the history of China cannot be underestimated. Considerable efforts were expended in importing faster, stronger breeds from Central Asia (as opposed to the local Mongol Pony), crucial to the survival of the empire. In sculpture, painting and literature, horses were frequently glorified as distant relatives of sacred, mythological dragons. The adoration of the horse is most evident in the burial art which adorned the tombs of wealthy members of the social elite. This charming example of a white painted pottery horse with red highlights probably represents the prized possession of a noble aristocrat. It is exceptional for the care lavished on the unusually long saddle and the ornaments which hang from its trappings. The large eyes and downcast head suggest that this is a gentle animal which served its owner loyally. Surely this horse, crafted with loving care and attention to detail, was admired as much in life as it is today in its sculptural form. - (DL.2071)


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