The Eastern Han Dynasty (A.D. 25-220) was afflicted by political conflicts and social turmoil towards the end of its imperial power; yet, it showed great adherence to early imperial Chinese traditions and stylistic features in its artistic production. Both the quantity and quality of ancient Chinese terracotta figurines reached their peak in the Han Dynasty. During this period, a wide variety of terracotta figurines, reflecting different identities and services, were finely executed in great detail, and then placed in burials. Ostentatiously displaying such goods, known as mingqi (冥器) in Chinese, inside the tombs was not only to embellish funeral offerings, but also to further their services to the tomb owners in the afterlife.
Eastern Han Dynasty Terracotta Statuette of a Farmer
A terracotta figurine of a male farmer dating to the Eastern Han Dynasty. He is portrayed in a standing pose and holding a large item, possibly a wheelbarrow, to his side. He wears the qujupao (曲裾袍), a traditional Han Dynasty dress comprising of a mid-length outer garment with wide sleeves and a tapering hem. His hair is coiled atop the head in a typical Han male hairdo, leaving his face bare and revealing his exaggerated facial features. The thick and arched brows, the big eyes and high cheekbones imbue the figure with a grotesque appearance, which allows to identify it as a portrait of a peasant, likely a farmer.
Period: Eastern Han Dynasty
Provenance: The C. Roger Moss OBE collection. The late C. Roger Moss OBE was a renowned art collector who, throughout the years, thanks to his determination and enthusiasm, was able to create an outstanding collection of artworks, most prominently from China and the Orient, but also from other cultures.
Condition: Good condition, some chips to the body. Earthy encrustations remain on the surface.