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HOME : Chinese Art : Tang Dynasty : Pair of Tang Sculptures of Attendants
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Pair of Tang Sculptures of Attendants - H.011
Origin: China
Circa: 618 AD to 907 AD
Dimensions: 16.75" (42.5cm) high x 5.375" (13.7cm) wide
Collection: Chinese
Style: Tang Dynasty
Medium: Terracotta

Location: United States
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Shown standing with left fist resting on top of right fist, possibly to hold a spear or staff, these two attendants bear militaristic characteristics while exhibiting a finesse and gentleness that is more often associated with the civil corp. They wear a mid-length tunic and armored breastplate bound by cords, with dragon's head epaulets at the shoulders and a long, flowing bottom piece exposing the tips of their shoes. A distinguishing feature of these figurines is their large head, pronounced by a receding hairline, wide facial features, and a tall, rounded headpiece tightened with a ribbon Red and black pigment and white slip adhere to the surface. It is possible that they are eunuchs whose responsibility it was to protect the inner quarters. Considered to be the finest examples of Chinese burial objects, Tang figurines reached their apex in the first half of the eighth century The important role assigned to these models in Tang tomb arrangements and their significance as status symbols and powerful guardians protecting the dead meant that these clay figures became luxury items. They reflect the artistic vitality of the time and give a unique perspective into T'ang customs and practices as well as the contemporary upper class life. - (H.011)


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