100 Days of Art History Jinjins


Seated court lady

This is a cute figurine of a Tang dynasty court lady from China. I liked this lady's peaceful expression and the pet dog at her feet.

I had a lot of goals for this project, from wanting to improve at drawing, to wanting to think through the perception of women in society, to wanting to learn more about art history, to wanting to critique the western canon. For this particular piece, "wanting to learn more about art history" came to the forefront. I was trying to learn about more than just European art.

I was also thinking about beauty standards. Ancient figurines often showcase a different body type which is always a good reminder that what we think of as beauty today is subjective. During the Tang dynasty, full-figured women were the ideal and figurines from that era reflect that. The most famous beauty from that era was Yang Guifei who was specifically said to be plump.

Reference image is from The Met, where this figurine is today.

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