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About the object
Tang Dynasty: 8th Century
A pottery figure of a Noble Fat Lady in a long robe with original traces of floral design and blush.
The ancient Chinese believed in the afterworld, which one would go to after death. The wealthy were buried in large tombs, along with their servants, pets and other objects, including land and property deeds, thought to be needed in the afterworld. The servants and animals were still alive and forced to commit sacrificial suicide by following their master/mistress to the grave.
This is a tomb figure of a plump aristocrat and occupier of the tomb made in the Tang Dynasty (616AD-906AD). These earthenware objects allow us to gain insight in the customs and trends of the day. For example, female sculptures excavated from tombs in the Mid-Tang Dynasty are all depicted with a voluptuous face, rounded and plump. From this we can understand what it meant to be ‘beautiful’ in ancient china. This figure showcases the ideal of female beauty in 8th-10th century China.