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HOME : Chinese Art : Northern Dynasties : Northern Qi Set of Ten Warriors
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Northern Qi Set of Ten Warriors - H.859
Origin: China
Circa: 550 AD to 577 AD
Dimensions: 12.75" (32.4cm) high
Collection: Chinese
Medium: Painted Terracotta

Location: United States
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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. This set of ten warriors is a memorial to the only individual that could secure peace and prosperity in such chaotic times. Clearly, none of the turmoil is exhibited in these calm, refined representations of warrior figures. They stand tall, some wearing armor, others dressed in a sleeveless tabard draped over a long-sleeved garment secured at their waist with a band. They wear small, snug caps while those in armor brandish pointed helmets, both typical of this era. Some of the original polychrome paint that once decorated these works is still visibly, most often seen on their faces, shoes, caps, or belts. Originally, these warriors would have brandished weapons inserted into the holes present in their hands. Most likely halberds or spears, these weapons were probably fabricated in a material such as wood that deteriorated over the centuries. This group was discovered entombed together in the grave of an elite member of the Northern Qi nobility. Although they were intended to protect the tomb and ward off any infiltrators, be they robbers or malevolent spirits, these warriors do not repel us; instead, their compelling history and stunning aesthetic beauty attracts us to them. - (H.859)


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