Han Dynasty Terracotta Figurine

SKU SP.569

206 BC to 220 AD


3″ (7.6cm) high





Gallery Location

S Korea


The Han era was one of the greatest artistic moments in Chinese history easily on par with the glories of Western contemporaries in Greece and Rome. Wealth poured into China from trade along the Silk Road and initiated a period of unprecedented luxury. Stunning bronze vessels were created and decorated with elegant inlaid gold and silver motifs. Jade carvings reached a new level of technical brilliance. Yet the artistic revival of the Han Dynasty is nowhere better represented than by the sculptures and vessels that were interred with deceased nobles. Called Mingqi, literally meaning “spirit articles,” these works depicted a vast array of subjects from warriors and horses to ovens and livestock that were buried alongside the dead for use in the next life. Such actions reflect the Chinese belief that the afterlife is an extension of our earthy existence. Thus the material goods that we require to sustain and nurture our bodies in this life are just as necessary in the next life.

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