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HOME : Chinese Art : Chinese Collection/ HK : Early Tang Painted Pottery Horse with Detachable Saddle
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Early Tang Painted Pottery Horse with Detachable Saddle - DL.2087
Origin: Shanxi Province
Circa: 618 AD to 907 AD
Dimensions: 15.3" (38.9cm) high x 13.7" (34.8cm) wide
Collection: Chinese
Style: Tang Dynasty
Medium: Terracotta
Condition: Very Fine

Location: UAE
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The great influence of the horse throughout the history of China cannot be underestimated. In fact, the ancient unification of the Chinese Empire was due in large part to the horse. Their rapid mobility allowed for quick communication between far away provinces. Likewise, the military role of horses aided in the conquest and submission of distant lands. The need to import stronger, faster steeds from Central Asia (as opposed to the native Mongol pony) led to the creation of the Silk Road. The importance of the horse in the history and culture of China can be viewed, in part, through the artistic legacy of this great civilization. In sculpture, painting, and literature, horses were glorified and revered, believed to be relatives of dragons, a theory reflecting their sacred status within society. During the Tang Dynasty, the adoration of the horse can be seen through their burial art. Horse models excavated from mausoleums of the period are among the most splendid and easily recognizable works of Chinese art.

This charming sculpture of a horse still retains much of its original white pigment intact. The orange painted saddle has been carefully incised to create a more realistic texture. Equally impressive is the fact that the saddle has been separately crafted; it may once have supported a rider who is now lost to us. The animal’s large eyes and friendly countenance have been expertly captured by the sculptor. This gorgeous horse is a testament to the admiration and adoration the Chinese had for these marvelous creatures. Although they were an integral part in the expansion and defence of the empire, they were equally regarded for their beauty and grace as revealed by this sculpture - (DL.2087)


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