An image of Figure of a lady

Unknown Artist

Figure of a lady

Other titles:
Figure of a lady (mourner)
Not on display
Further information

With her hands politely clasped within the voluminous sleeves of her costume, this is among the finest of the Han dynasty figures in the collection. Her distinguished but humble demeanor suggests that she represents a courtly attendant. It is a figure of extraordinary grace and eloquent simplicity, characteristic of the sophisticated Han style. Typically such models were made from moulds, the parts then luted together and the details finished by hand before the firing process. The figure was then covered with a white slip, which served as a base for the detail painting of which only traces remain.

The Asian Collections, AGNSW, 2003, pg.81.

This is a superlative example of Han figural art. The garment, with its flaring bottom, and layers of undergarments revealed at the "v" opening at her neck, are characteristic of everyday Han dress.

Traces of red and blue (on her smart shoes) still remain apart from the white slip characteristic of these pieces. The hair, long and loosely caught at her back, is handled with the same attention to detail as the folds of the robes and the facial features.

excerpt from Jackie Menzies, 'Early Chinese Art', AGNSW, 1983. IX (cover illus.).

Place of origin
China: Han dynasty 206 BCE–220 CE, Eastern (later) Han dynasty 25–220 CE
25 CE-220 CE
earthenware with traces of pigment over white slip
42.7 cm
Gift of Mr Sydney Cooper 1962
Accession number