Figure of a Prancing Horse

彩繪陶馬

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.

Literature:
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.

Provenance:
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)