Burial figure of the Queen Mother of the West - ROM2005_3950_1


Burial figure of the Queen Mother of the West

Medium:Moulded earthenware
Geography: China
Date: 25-220 AD
Period: Eastern Han Dynasty
44.5 x 37 cm
Object number: 2000.106.1740
Credit Line: Gift of Joey and Toby Tanenbaum. Certified by the Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board under the terms of the Cultural Property Export and Import Act. Attestée par la Commission canadienne d'examen des exportations de biens culturels en vertu de la Loi sur l'exportation et l'importation de biens culturels.
On view
Gallery Location:Joey and Toby Tanenbaum Gallery of China
DescriptionDuring the Han dynasty (206 BC - AD 220), the Chinese believed that one's spirit could leave the tomb and travel to Mount Kunlun, the world of paradise and immortality ruled by the Queen Mother of the West. The Queen Mother is shown in this ceramic sculpture wearing a simple cap, without her distinctive "sheng" crown with hourglass-shaped ornaments at her temples. The winged dragon and tiger at her sides leave no doubt that the figure is indeed the Queen Mother, as does her pose with hands folded under swaths of her upper garment. It is interesting that the Queen Mother wears clothing of ordinary people. The fringed upper garment can be observed on several tomb figures of female attendants found in Sichuan province. An apron trimmed with a broad border can be seen on both the front and the back of the sculpture. This feature can also be seen in bronze renderings of the Queen Mother on money trees. It is not clear whether the apron is part of her lower garment or is draped over the dragon and tiger that form her throne.
If you see an error or have additional information, please contact us by clicking here.