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HOME : Chinese Art : Tang Dynasty : Tang Terracotta Sculpture of a Soldier
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Tang Terracotta Sculpture of a Soldier - H.047e
Origin: China
Circa: 618 AD to 906 AD
Dimensions: 11" (27.9cm) high x 3.25" (8.3cm) wide
Collection: Chinese
Medium: Terracotta

Location: United States
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This pottery figurine depicts an individual who possesses supernatural ability, perhaps a shamanic priest or spiritual guardian. The orangish-brown tunic decorated with dark circular designs and matching hood resemble distinctive Tibetan Lama attire, though also similar in appearance to ceremonial mourning wear. The figure is positioned facing forward gesturing his right fist over his left hand which is hidden beneath oversized, draping sleeves. The figure once boasted an emblem, which may have provided insight to his meaning and function. His expressive features--bulging eyes, tense brow line, pursed lips, pear-shaped face and neck lines-- resemble the physiognomy of the Heavenly Guardians. In this case, the "disguise" is merely one of his many manifestations. Tang Dynasty figurine art is characterized by a desire to give the deceased status rather than to merely recreate daily life. As the Han emphasized agricultural and domestic pursuits, the Tang explored the sophisticated world of the aristocracy, reflected in figurine subjects that signified wealth and mobility. Through increased contact with central Asia and India, Buddhism spread which thus stimulated an interest in representation of Buddhist inspired subjects. - (H.047e)


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