very tall, elongated figure; triangular-shaped face; very close-set features; painted eyes and garment details in red, black and white; long sleeves; mostly dark brown patina overall

Figurine of a Female Court Attendant, 4th-3rd century BCE

Unknown artist, expand_more
G215expand_more

Distinct regional styles flourished during the late Bronze Age and one of the most important regarding the production of ancient lacquer was the southern state of Zhu. During the Warring States Period 475 - 221 B.C.E., wooden human figures were placed in Zhu tombs as substitutes for the sacrificial human victims that were often interred in important burials during the earlier phases of the Bronze Age such as Shang (1900 - 1027 B.C.E.) and Western Zhou (1027 - 771 B.C.E.). Such figurines were made to serve and protect the deceased in the afterworld. These rare, early examples of wooden tomb sculpture can be seen as forerunners to the more durable ceramic tomb figurines of people and animals for which the Han (206 b.c. - 220 C.E.) and Tang (618 - 907) dynasties are famous. Although simply cut and stylized, the statue clearly depicts a type of long, wrap-around robe with deep sleeves worn over baggy trousers. This figure is part of a group discovered in Changsha in 1936 that was first shown in America at the Yale University Art Gallery in 1939.

Details
Title
Figurine of a Female Court Attendant
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2008.77
Curator Approved

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very tall, elongated figure; triangular-shaped face; very close-set features; painted eyes and garment details in red, black and white; long sleeves; mostly dark brown patina overall