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Sui dynasty (581-618) China
Saddled horse 581-618 Place made: China
Creation Notes: Sui dynasty
Materials & Technique: sculptures, earthenware, earthenware; glazing, painting
Dimensions: 35.0 h x 23.0 w x 37.0 d cm
Acknowledgement: Gift of TT Tsui, Hong Kong, through the National Gallery of Australia Foundation 1995
Accession No: NGA 95.598

In China, horses from central Asia were highly prized and served as prominent status symbols. Accordingly, horses became important grave ceramics and their presence in tombs was vital to accompany the deceased on the journey to the afterlife. The horse imagery of the Sui dynasty had several distinctive features. This saddled horse clearly illustrates the realism typical of the period, with stylised mane, static pose, bent head and S-shaped tail.

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2011
From: Asian gallery extended display label