VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Earth spirit
0319815
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

The earth spirit takes the form of a crouching fantasy beast with a human head. Its back is adorned with three flame-shaped excrescences.

History of the Object
This earth spirit is one of the many fabulous beasts which were supposed to protect the deceased in the unknown world he was about to enter. The animals were also intended to prevent the deceased losing their way and returning to the realm of the living.

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Type
Sculpture 
Materials
Grey earthenware with cold-painting in white, red and black 
Measurements
height 41.5 cm; width 32 cm; length 15 cm 
Creator name
Unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
China 
Geography
China 
Time period
AD 4th century ~ AD 6th century 
Creation date
4th Century - 6th Century; 386-557 (Wei Dynasty) 
Function
decorative 
Acquisition
Purchased in 1936 from an Art Gallery in London. 
Copyright
 
Acknowledgements
Lit.: B. Jansen, Vroeg-Chinese ceramiek/Early Chinese Pottery, The Hague (Gemeentemuseum van ’s-Gravenhage) 1956,cat. no. 6 B. Jansen, Chinese ceramiek, The Hague/Lochem 1976, cat. no. 28 Grafkeramiek uit het oude China, themanummer Vormen uit vuur (2004), p. 19, cat.no. 7 
Owner
Gemeentemuseum Den Haag 
Museum
Gemeentemuseum 
Credit line
 

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