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HOME : Chinese Art : Song Dynasty : Large Sculpture of a Recumbent Ram
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Large Sculpture of a Recumbent Ram - H.o40
Origin: China
Circa: 960 AD to 1279 AD

Collection: Chinese
Medium: Granite


Location: United States
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Description
This stone sculpture depicts a kneeling ram slightly lifted by its fore legs.  The animal kneels on a square slab mount with a protruding mound beneath its belly.  The curved horns follow the line of the jaw and neck tucked between pulled ears.  A delicately carved face reveals the realistic aspects of the animal as well as its gentle and docile attributes.

Chinese stone spirit road statuary represents a strong and ancient branch of monumental sculpture based on beliefs connected with ancestor worship and the importance of tombs.  The tradition had existed since the Han Dynasty although the belief in the inherent power of an image to bring about that which it represented or symbolized predates Han stone statuary.  This belief that an image could influence both the material and spiritual worlds was magnified through the association of stone with immortality. The Song differed from their predecessors by producing images of animals for purely symbolic reasons.  Sheep (or rams) and tigers appear in their ancient traditional form derived from Bronze Age figurines--the kneeling sheep symbolizing filial piety; the tiger, martial valor.
- (H.o40)

 

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