jar-shaped understructure; above shoulder divided into three tiers upper walled-in structure, middle birds, jars and seated figures at center of side, lower seated figures engaged in activity; two gates flank opposite sides; two bands of applied dragon designs to main unadorned body; green glaze

Spirit Jar (hunping), late 3rd century

Unknown artist, expand_more

Large, extensively decorated burial jars like this have been recovered in recent decades. Limited to the area south of the River in the Northern Zhejiang and Southern Jiangsu province, they represent a vessel type and burial practices specific to this region. Made without lids, the jars display an extremely rich assortment of molded figures, animals, and architecture in a tiered arrangement comprising their upper portions.

The jars were most likely placed in the tomb so the soul of the deceased would have a place to reside. This accounts for a palace-like structure with entrance gates facing the four directions. The various figures at the top most likely represent Daoist immortals who somehow aided in the afterlife.

Details
Title
Spirit Jar (hunping)
Role
Artist
Accession Number
98.51
Curator Approved

This record has been reviewed by our curatorial staff but may be incomplete. These records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@artsmia.org.

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jar-shaped understructure; above shoulder divided into three tiers upper walled-in structure, middle birds, jars and seated figures at center of side, lower seated figures engaged in activity; two gates flank opposite sides; two bands of applied dragon designs to main unadorned body; green glaze