The Song Dynasty ruled China during one of its most brilliant and sophisticated cultural epochs, marking a high point for innovation in economy, science, engineering, and warfare. The Dynasty saw the introduction of the first banknotes and the first recorded chemical formula for gunpowder, as well as large-scale experimental architecture and a new intellectual interest in the arts. During this period, Buddhism grew in popularity as new philosophical schools of thought were introduced. The development of Neo-Confucianism and the re-emergence of Daoism reverberated through society, guiding it to ideals of balance and order. Buddhism, however, retained a strong influence over the arts, and many representation of Buddhist iconography can be found in the Song Dynasty extensive artistic production.
Song Dynasty Terracotta Brick with Male Figure
A finely moulded Song Dynasty grey terracotta tile featuring the depiction of a male figure. The brick displays a rectangular full-body portrait of a man, perhaps a guard, dressed in voluminous robes. The man’s facial features are sensitively rendered and portray a solemn expression as he holds a long staff with a decorative finial. His hair is styled into an elaborate headpiece comprising two buns worn high on top of his head and braids to the front. This hairstyle, as custom in Ancient China, could have been an indicator of the man’s political alignment and social status.
N.B. This item will require additional postage charges after checkout due to weight and size.
Period: Song Dynasty
Provenance: From the imported collection of Chinese art formed in Japan.
Condition: Fine condition. Chips to the periphery of the tile and signs of ageing to the surface