crouching rabbit with small ears and brown eyes; rectangular base with squared-off corners

Figure of a Rabbit, 8th-9th century

Unknown artist, expand_more
G204expand_more

This exceptionally rare figure of a crouching rabbit shows the animal with head held low resting on its forepaws compactly modeled and smoothly contoured in a simplified naturalistic style. The work was created shortly after the invention of porcelain during the late eighth or early ninth century and the artist has exploited the natural color of the clay. A Tang dynasty bronze mirror in the museum's collection shows a rabbit mixing the elixir of immortality, a motif associated with Daoism and the wish for longevity. How this ceramic rabbit would have functioned is unclear but its size and shape suggest that it could have been used as a paperweight and, as a Daoist emblem of immortality, it would have functioned well as a tomb object in an aristocratic Tang burial.

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Details
Title
Figure of a Rabbit
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2004.132.4
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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crouching rabbit with small ears and brown eyes; rectangular base with squared-off corners