1. Lady on horseback
Sui Dynasty (581-618)
Straw-glazed pottery with some traces of red and black pigments
H: 29 cm
The sculpture of the Sui dynasty is typically represented by unadorned tomb figurines characterized by a pale yellow glaze also called “straw glaze”. This nice group is covered in a minutely crackled straw-colored glaze.
The lady wears a long scarf tied over her hair to protect from the dust, she looks serene and sits comfortably on a large saddle. Her high-waisted long gown and scarf fashionable in the 6th century cover all but the tips of her shoes. The very long sleeves enhance her elegant stance.
The rider’s horse is handsome and sturdy. Despite its apparently static stance, a naturalistic handling of volumes shows a precise knowledge of anatomy. The solid legs support the well-built body. The strong head leans gently lowered towards the ground.
The combination of the horse’s natural strength and the serenity of the lady rider enhance the tranquillity emanating from this equestrian group.
Conditions: some expected degradation, abrasions, and limited restoration, as a consequence of extended burial and subsequent cleaning. The result of the TL test confirm the age of the group.
Compare with a similar lady rider from the Arthur M. Sackler collections exhibited at :
*London, Oriental Ceramic Society, The Arts of the T'ang Dynasty, 1955, no. 54.
*Jerusalem, Israel Museum, 3500 Years of Chinese Art: Ceramics from the Arthur M Sackler Collections, 9 July-31 October 1987.
and sold at Christie’s New York in September 2017.