This figure is distinguished by the extraordinary amount of bright, original pigment that remains. The sturdy horse stands foursquare. The soldier on his back wears armour over a short red tunic with a thick, white collar, a black border on the skirt, hair drawn up under a red helmet tied beneath the chin, and hands positioned and drilled to hold reins. Larger but stylistically similar figures, dated to the early Western Han, were unearthed in 1965 at Yangjiawen, near Xianyang, Shaanxi province.
The Asian Collections, AGNSW, 2003, pg.81.
'A pair of painted gray pottery figures of equestrian soldiers' cat.no. 50.
Compare the group of stylistically similar, but larger figures, dated to the early Western Han, unearthed in 1965 at Yangjiawan, near Xianyang, Shaanxi province. Burials containing large numbers of mounted cavalrymen and foot soldiers were found in the vicinity of the tombs of the first Han emperor, Gaozu, and the emperor Jingdi at Yangjiawan. See 'Wenwu', 1966, no.3, pl.1-4 and 'Wenwu', 1977, no.10, p.17. See, also, The Quest for Eternity, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1987, Catalogue, p. 105. fig. 15.'
Christie's New York, 'The Jingguantang Collection Part II: Fine and important Chinese Ceramics and works of art: New York, Thursday, March 20, 1997, Vauxhall Pre press London 1997
Asian Art Dept., AGNSW, March 1997.
Horse and rider
A painted grey pottery figure of an equestrian
Han dynasty 206 BCE - 220 CE → China
206 BCE-220 CE
painted grey earthenware
34.9 x 35.6 cm
Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Not on display
Where the work was made
Referenced in 2 publications
The Asian Collections Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'Tomb Sculpture', Sydney, 2003, 81 (colour illus.).
Inspirations - Art ideas for primary and middle years, Carlton South, 2004, cover (colour illus.), 8 (colour illus.). card 8