camel standing on diamond-shaped base; head up, tail up and curled; yellow with traces of red and black pigment; single hump

Two camels and a groom (Camel), 618-907

Unknown artist, expand_more

Earthenware with pigmentsexpand_more

The John R. Van Derlip Fundexpand_more  2004.205.1.1

G207expand_more

This group of two camels and their central Asian driver is remarkable for its large size, expressive modeling, and strong color. The heavily bearded groom rides a Bactrian (two-humped) camel, and they are accompanied by a one-humped dromedary. As the Chinese empire extended across most of central Asia during the Tang dynasty (618–907), the need for camels was enormous. Camels were treasured for their reliability in transporting people and trade merchandise through the great Gobi and Tarim deserts. Most camel herders were foreigners from Mongolia and central Asia. The great dusty beasts thronging the sprawling markets of cities like Chang’an (present-day Xi’an) and Luoyang gave Tang potters ample opportunity to study their every characteristic as well as those of the foreigners who tended them.

Details
Title
Two camels and a groom (Camel)
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2004.205.1.1
Curator Approved

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camel standing on diamond-shaped base; head up, tail up and curled; yellow with traces of red and black pigment; single hump