The Tang Dynasty was a golden age of Chinese culture. The arts reached new levels of sophistication. Poetr and literature flourished under the enlightene rulership. The Silk Road brought fortunes into Chin on the backs of camels, carrying exotic luxury item from distant lands. Foreign merchants from acros Central Asia and the Middle East settled in the urba centers of the Tang China, foremost among them th thriving capital of Chang’an (modern X’ian), bustling cosmopolitan center of over two millio inhabitants. The Tang Dynasty was a relatively stabl period of great prosperity representing one of th greatest cultural flourishings in human history. During the Tang Dynasty, the adoration of the hors can be seen through their burial art. Horse model excavated from mausoleums of the period are among th most splendid and easily recognizable works of Chines art. The great influence of the horse throughout th history of China cannot be underestimated. In fact, the ancient unification of the Chinese Empire was du in large part to the horse. Their rapid mobilit allowed for quick communication between far awa provinces. Likewise, the military role of horses aide in the conquest and submission of distant lands. Th need to import stronger, faster steeds from Centra Asia (as opposed to the native Mongol pony) led to th creation of the Silk Road. The importance of the hors in the history and culture of China can be viewed, i part, through the artistic legacy of this grea civilization. In sculpture, painting, and literature, horses were glorified and revered, believed to b relatives of dragons, a theory reflecting their sacre status within society. This elegant terracotta sculpture of a horse stil retains much of its original white pigment in tact. removable white saddle graces his back. This saddl likely would have once supported a sculpted rider tha has since been lost or destroyed. The horses ear stand at attention. Its striking eyes are wel defined. However, the most unique feature of thi piece is the horse’s mane. Incised lines add textur to the mane that gracefully falls across the horse’ neck. A portion of the hair has been combed in fron of the ears and split into a part. These rar features, in particular the coiffure and removabl saddle, are highly sought after by collectors. Thi gorgeous sculpture is a testament to the admiratio and adoration the Chinese had for this marvelou creature. Although they were an integral part in th expansion and defense of the empire, they were equall regarded for their beauty and grace as revealed b this sculpture.
Dimensions of right horse: 23.25" (59 cm) hig Dimensions of left horse: 22.75" (57.8 cm) hig