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Lot: 835
Ceramic horse Tang Dynasty

Figure of a horse, made in polychrome terracotta, probably with the usual slips of the time (applied cold), which possibly formed part of a funerary trousseau of some prominent member of the Tang Dynasty. It stands out for the naturalism that the artist has portrayed, capturing the face in detail and adopting a position through the open legs, and the head positioned in front. Providing movement and active attitude to the figure. The Tang dynasty is considered by historians as a moment of splendor of Chinese civilization, equal to or even superior to the Han period. Emerged after a period of despotism under the reign of the cruel Yang Di, it was established by Li Shimin who, moved by pity filial, put his father on the throne before assuming the role of emperor himself and founding the Tang dynasty. Spurred by contact with India and the Middle East via the Silk Road, the Tang empire experienced a creative boom in many fields. Buddhism, which had emerged in India at the time of Confucius, continued to flourish during this period and was adopted by the imperial family, becoming an essential part of traditional Chinese culture. Likewise, the development of the printing press extended the diffusion of written works, giving rise to the golden age of Chinese art and literature. The great cultural opening will result in a fundamentally colourful, expressive and highly eclectic art, although it continues to be mainly for funerary use, where the artist remains an anonymous craftsman. However, from this moment on, high-fired ceramics, decorated with glazes, will come to be used as a status symbol, with typologies such as

ecipients for the lawyer''s table and all kinds of tableware. Terracotta, on the other hand, is still used for grave goods, although stoneware will also be used from now on, especially for the tombs of nobles and lawyers. In the funerary pieces, the group to which these bears belong, an important novelty is introduced: tricolor lead glazes (sancai), although pieces decorated with slips continue to be made. Within the grave goods there are six typological groups, each one of a great variety: tomb guardians, with warriors and protective beasts; ceremonial figures with their servants; animals of all kinds, such as oxen, camels or horses; musicians and court ladies; utensils and containers; and finally architecture models. Also, three periods are distinguished. In the first of them, between 681 and 683, the figures decorated with slips predominate, still without glaze, so the pieces that we present here could be dated between these years. The second period takes place between 683 and 779, and is the great era of sancai, with a predominance of enamels. Finally, until the beginning of the 10th century, pieces with sancai enamels continued to be made, although of lower quality than those of the previous period.

The piece includes Thermoluminescence Test. QED LABORATORY - FRANCE

Status: Earthy deposits on the surface.


- MLF Private Collection, Madrid. Bought at an antiques dealer in Hong Kong. 55x56cm

tang horse

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