Large Ming Dynasty Sandstone Lady

SKU DL.2099

Very Fine


1368 AD to 1644 AD


52″ (132.1cm) high x 18″ (45.7cm) wide x 13″ (33.0cm) depth




Sichuan Province

Gallery Location

S Korea


Upon leading a victorious rebellion against the foreign Mongul rulers of the Yuan Dynasty, a peasant named Zhu Yuanzhang seized control of China and founded the Ming Dynasty in 1368. As emperor, he founded his capital at Nanjing and adopted the name Hongwu as his reign title. Hongwu, literally meaning “vast military,” reflects the increased prestige of the army during the Ming Dynasty. Culturally, the greatest innovation of the Ming Dynasty was the introduction of the novel. Developed from the folk tales of traditional storytellers, these works were transcribed in the everyday vernacular language of the people. Advances in printmaking and the increasing population of urban dwellers largely contributed to the success of these books. Architecturally, the most famous monument of the Ming Dynasty is surely the complex of temples and palaces known as the Forbidden City that was constructed in Beijing after the third ruler of the Ming Dynasty, Emperor Yongle, moved the capital there. Today, the Forbidden Palace remains one of the hallmarks of traditional Chinese architecture and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the vast nation.

This charming statue of a lady belongs to this exciting chapter in China’s history. Standing tall on a rectangular plinth, the figure clasps her hands together at chest height. Her flowing robes have been exquisitely carved, especially where they descend over her forearms, swaying slightly to our right as if caught in a gentle breeze. The lady’s round face and kind eyes have a matronly quality although her exact status is unclear. She may well represent an attendant at court although this is merely conjecture. The sculpture is in excellent condition.

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