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Pottery Figurines in the Tang dynasty


The Tang dynasty is the peak of Chinese feudal society with the stability of the society and the development of the economy providing profound material basis for producing pottery figurines. In this period, famous writers Han Yu and Liu Zongyuan promoted the ancient essay movement to avoid the voidness of substance in the essays of the previous dynasties. The poets group with Li Bai and Du Fu as the representatives pushed forward the art of poems to the peak. Ouyang Xun, Yu Shinan, Liu Gongquan and Yan Zhenqing, the top calligraphers created writing style with their own specialities, thus regular script became the model of descendants. The clothes band to the wind by Wu Daozi, the ladies in luxurious silk dress by Zhang Xuan and Zhou Fang, the white porcelain in Xingyao Kiln with the color the same as snow and silver, the green porcelain in Yueyao Kiln with the colour the same as that of forest on mountains and the three-color glazed technology supplied a terrific art atmosphere for the production of pottery figurines. Those pottery figurines with different postures and images were just the result of learning from numerous art achievements. The large amount of pottery figurines in the Tang dynasty also came from the cultural exchanges with other countries at that time. The scenes, customs, dresses, decorations and images of foreign countries were accepted as fashion in China, also became the subject of pottery figurines. Because of the popularity of luxurious funeral, the production of pottery figurines came to the prosperity. The collection of pottery figurines in the Palace Museum amounting to large number and covering numerous subjects, with some of them from excavation and some from the contribution of collectors, stand an important position in Chinese museums. In order to provide a directive and vivid understanding to this art treasure of Chinese people, we chose some from our collections to show them in several types.

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