Ming Glazed Terracotta Architectural Sculpture of a Dragon

SKU H.1047
Circa

1368 AD to 1644 AD

Dimensions

26.5″ (67.3cm) high x 41″ (104.1cm) depth

Medium

Glazed Terracotta

Origin

China

Gallery Location

USA


 

Judging from the shape of the base of this imposing dragon tile, it is likely that it once rested along the eaves of a roof or on the top a wall surrounding the grounds of a Ming Dynasty temple or palace. As an architectural ornament, this sculpture is a masterpiece. Surely the building that this work once adorned must have been quite spectacular. The dragon sits upon a swirling cloud, head held upwards, mouth ajar, as if poised to release a breath of fire. Spiky horns decorate the dragon’s head and spine that themselves appear like miniature flames. When we imagine the entire temple structure covered in such tiles, from the walls to the roof, the glory of Ming Dynasty China becomes apparent.

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