Images of Asia: Chinese Tomb Figurines

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Ann Paludan
ISBN: 978-0-19-585817-4
Oxford University Press
66 pag. hardcover 14 x 20 cm 1994

From the Han dynasty until the Song, the inclusion in the tomb of figures modelled on objects and persons from daily life was a fundamental part of Chinese burial rituals. The tradition reached its height first in the rural setting of the Han period, whose representations of pigsties and granaries bring us back to a time of agricultural simplicity. A second flowering of artistry occurred during the Tang, China's golden age, which saw elegant courtiers and noble warriors recreated in clay to join the deceased in passage to the other world.
Illustrated with twenty-four black-and-white and twenty color plates, this book traces the development of the tomb figurine tradition. Beginning with the earliest substitutes for human sacrifice and continuing to the highly stylized objects of later dynasties, Ann Paludan provides a comprehensive introduction to the many styles of figurines, identifying common characteristics and noting changes in production methods, choices of subject matter, and philosophical approaches to the work.