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Funerary Statuette: Court Lady

Location

NORTH CENTRAL CHINA

Era

Tang dynasty (618-907 C.E.)

Title

Funerary Statuette: Court Lady

Date

About 675-725 C.E.

Materials

Slip-painted earthenware, traces of pigment

Dimensions

43 x 12.8 x 12 cm

Credits

Purchase, General Capital Morgan Fund, inv. 1952.Dp.2

Collection

Archeology and World Cultures

This tomb statuette of a slender court lady in stylish dress displays the ideal of female beauty at the beginning of the Tang dynasty, a prosperous time when foreign influences on social customs and fashion gained prominence. Painted or glazed statuettes were placed in the tombs of high-raking members of society – aristocrats, members of the court, merchants – to assist and protect them in the afterlife. This statuette provides insight into the taste of the time, including a predilection for sumptuous fashions inspired by the elaborate costumes and hairstyles of musicians, dancers and other entertainers from Central Asia summoned to perform for the Tang elites. Traces of polychrome pigments give us an idea of the type of fabric patterns Tang court women fancied.

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