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Tomb tile with decoration of feathered man and dragon
Other titles:
Tomb tile (Green Dragon of the East decoration)
Place of origin
Southern dynasties 317 - 589 → China
Northern dynasties 420 - 589 → China
5th century-6th century
Media category
Materials used
earthenware, unglazed

15.6 x 40.7 cm

Gift of Mr Sydney Cooper 1962
Accession number
Not on display
Further information

A 'Yu Ren' (feathered man) with a pair of wings and large ears beckons a running dragon with split deer-like antlers, baring its teeth and fixing its gaze on the ladle held in the man's left hand. This brick is an example of tomb decorations depicting Daoist themes of immortality that began during the Warring States period (475 -221 BC) and remained very popular in burial practices until the 6th century AD. The dragon motif not only indicates the direction of East, but also serves as auspicious animal with its power to suppress evil and assist the deceased to reach paradise.

Asian Art Department, AGNSW, January 2012

Bibliography (2)

Mr V V W Fretwell, Mr L G Harrison, Ivan McMeekin and J. Hepburn Myrtle (Compilators), Chinese ceramics, Sydney, 1965, 18. 10

Jackie Menzies, Early Chinese Art, Sydney, 1983, (illus.) not paginated. See 'Further Information' for text.

Exhibition history (4)

An Englishman's Home, David Jones Ltd, Sydney, 1941 -

Chinese Ceramics, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 11 Aug 1965–12 Sep 1965

Early Chinese art, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 26 Feb 1983–08 May 1983

Dragon (2012), Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 18 Jan 2012–06 May 2012