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Raimann & Raimann

A resting horse, awaiting a master’s order
China, Western Han
206 BC-220 AD or earlier
Sandstone
Height: 36 cm - Width: 50 cm - Depth: 24 cm

Stone carvings in this style standing in front of tombs were exquisitely done. They are marked by rugged rocks that resemble wild beasts like resting horses and tigers, kneeling elephants, piglets and fish, bears and other wild beasts preying, strange human figures, perhaps demons or gods. Large groups of carvings comprise an illustrious example of the art of stone carving in the Han Dynasty, 206 BC-220 AD. The stone carvings before the tomb of General Huo Qubing are the representatives of the large stone carvings of the Western Han Dynasty. They have profound influence on the tomb stone carvings of later dynasties and were carried forward by the tomb stone carving art in the various dynasties after the Han Dynasty in different dimensions. The posture of this horse is one of rest, seemingly carefree and content after returning from battle. The horse lies on the ground, left and right foreleg bent a bit as it looks ahead without relaxing its will to fight. It appears to be awaiting a master’s order. The fact that the horse is healthy and strong with full, clear musculature is a tribute to the majesty of the horses which performed brilliantly during the war of resistance against the predators.

It is a strong and sturdy horse – very similar to a real animal. This sandstone carving was shaped in a one piece body with simple, clear strokes and has a wonderful patina.

Published in: “IN-FINITUM” Catalog by Axel Vervoordt, 2009, Page 46, 89
Exhibited: “IN-FINITUM,” Palazzo Fortuny, Venice, by Axel Vervoordt Foundation, 06.06.-15.11.2009

all text, images Raimann & Raimann

 

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