A Tang Horse

17 April 2020

This beautiful stallion belongs to the category of funerary pieces called “mingqi” (objects of light). Mainly intended to ensure a certain standard of living for the deceased in the afterlife, these pieces possess a magical aura. The horse tells the story of a time of great political and cultural openness for China, which exploits the famous Silk Roads. The Chinese, lacking horses of great stature, took advantage of this to acquire magnificent stallions from Arab merchants.

Saddled horse. China. Funerary piece. Tang period (608-906). Terracotta. H. 37 cm, long. 41 cm.
Photo L. Lourenço, Musée Barbier-Mueller.