Figure of a Prancing Horse


Earthenware with pigments
Tang Dynasty (618 – 907)

Height: 25 ¼ inches (64 cm)
This powerfully modelled caparisoned horse strides forward pawing the air with its right foreleg, the hoof gracefully turned in. The bridled head with deep-set eyes, flared nostrils and mouth open is held high in a proud attitude. Beautifully groomed, the elegant mane is combed to fall over one side in long graceful folds, the tail plated and tied. The saddle is placed over a large blanket and secured by a crupper strap from which are suspended bulbous pendants. The horse retains extensive polychrome over a white slip.

Prancing or dancing horses performed at the court of Emperor Xuanzong (r. 712 – 756). Elaborately bedecked they danced to the ‘Tune of the Tilted Cup’. The horses were said to have known more than twenty different steps and to have been able to hold a wine cup in their teeth. The horses raised their heads as if drinking and then collapsed as if drunk.

Andrew C. Ritchie, Catalogue of the Paintings and Sculpture in the Permanent Collection, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo 1949, p. 212, no. 213

Steven A. Nash with Katy Kline, Charlotta Kotic and Emese Wood, Albright-Knox Art Gallery: Painting and Sculpture from Antiquity to 1942, New York, 1979,
p. 106.

Collection of Arthur B Michael, Newton Centre, MA (bequest of 1942).
Collection of Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York, no. 1942:16.19

高25 ¼ 英寸(64 公分)