Archaic and Imperial China
Tang Dynasty (AD 618 ­- 906)


Object :
Nº 658
Medium :
Dimensions :
Height: 44 cm (17.3") – Width: 18 cm (7")

Description :

Lady of the court in moulded, fine clay terracotta covered in a light slip with polychrome traces. Her face has fine features and a serene countenance lost in a mass of rouged flesh and is framed by a coiffure in a high chignon called “half wy back”.  She is modeled standing with bulbous body swayed to the side, wearing a long loose robe. Her ample dress shows deeply incised folds; over it she wears a tight-fitting bustier with a low neckline and short sleeves called banbi. Her arms are folded and the hands hidden by the long sleeves of the dress. Her long dress, flaring near the bottom, reveals pointed shoes with the tip curved up, very fashionable at court during the last quarter of the 7th century.

The emperor Xuanzong ( 712-756 AD) had as his favourite a buxom woman. At that time feminine images of this type started to multiply. The Tangs idealized voluptuous women, highlighting their well-developed curves. The dress adds to this aesthetic, mostly generous, it is of a Hufu type, of “barbarian” origins and coming from the western borders of the Silk Road.