Horse and rider
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- Tang Dynasty, 618 - 907 AD
- 43 cm
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The horse is standing four square on a rectangular base. The red pottery horse is painted with red and white pigments. The rider is wearing blue clothes, with red lining and a black belt. On the back of the horse is a large bag. The man has a very strong facial expression with a black moustache.
The horse and rider are part of the burial rituals in the Chinese Tang Dynasty. High-ranking persons were buried with mingqi 'spirit goods'. It was believed that life after death was a continuation of the present life, and therefore the deceased was provided with all the objects necessary to continue living after death, such as terracotta animals, food, clothing, valuables, as well as warriors, musicians and guardians. The tombs were designed architecturally so that, together with the objects, they provided both a comfortable final resting place as well as a safe journey for the deceased into the afterlife. Ancestor worship was very important, for the welfare of the deceased and for the welfare of the entire family. In the period of the Tang Dynasty the number of objects that could be included in tombs depended on the individual's rank.