VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Serving woman
0216955
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

The standing female figure is dressed in a kimono with broad collars and long sleeves. The hands are joined in a muff and the semicircular toes of her shoes are visible. The elegantly painted head is also made separately. Although hardly anything survives of the original over-glaze painting, it is possible with a little imagination to distinguish the bright colours of the woven or embroidered patterns on the kimonos

History of the Object
Not surprisingly, servants were an important feature of the goods that the deceased took with them into the afterlife. These female figures from the Han Dynasty are typical of the type of handmaiden figures frequently found in tombs of this period. The rather introverted, submissive attitude of the figures expresses their unconditional wish to serve. Although hardly anything survives of the original over-glaze painting, it is possible with a little imagination to distinguish the bright colours of the woven or embroidered patterns on the kimonos.

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Type
Sculpture 
Materials
Buff-coloured earthenware with cold-painting in red, black and white 
Measurements
Height 57 cm; width 25 cm 
Creator name
Unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
China, Henan 
Geography
China 
Time period
BCE 3rd century ~ BCE 3rd century 
Creation date
BCE 3rd Century - 3rd Century AD; 206 B.C. - 220 A.D. (Han Dynasty) 
Function
grave gift 
Acquisition
Purchased in 1998 from the Capital Gallery, Hong Kong 
Copyright
 
Acknowledgements
Lit.: Grafkeramiek uit het oude China, themanummer Vormen uit vuur (2004), p. 17, cat.no. 5 Ref.: M. Pirazzoli-t’Serstevens, The Han Civilization of China, Oxford 1982, pl. 84 
Owner
Gemeentemuseum Den Haag 
Museum
Gemeentemuseum 
Credit line
 

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