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Funerary Statuette: Court Lady




Tang dynasty (618-907 C.E.)


Funerary Statuette: Court Lady


About 675-725 C.E.


Slip-painted earthenware, traces of pigment


43 x 12.8 x 12 cm


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


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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