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Nº 1820



Type Object:

Funerary ritual, Sculpture


Height: 61 cm (24") – Width: 57 cm (22.4")

Exquisite horse with a proud allure in terracotta with polychrome. It is depicted galloping with one lifted leg in the typical posture for dancing horses known as prancing. The rarity of this horse is its black colour. On its back lies a beautiful orange saddle and a blanket decorated with red, green and white motifs, typical of the Tang period. The mane is long and majestic while the head of good proportions depicts the action of alertness. Possible ancient restorations.
The representation of the horse is one domain in which the aesthetics of the Tang reaches its highest most quality. The horse is elegant and racy, it looks smart and active and the most realistic representations of these beautiful animals were obligatory. The Tang imported many horses from the western plains of Mongolia, thanks to the contact they established with the Uighurs. A horse with its leg lifted is a parade horse. We know that towards the end of the Tang Dynasty, the Emperor’s studs counted in no less than 700 000. These were used for court, but also in military conquests.

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Musée Cernuschi

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