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Asian Art
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Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
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Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery

Court Lady

first half 8th century c.e.

Earthenware with slip and traces of pigment

17 5/8 × 5 1/4 in. (44.8 × 13.3 cm)
Gift of the Associates in Fine Arts
A new concept of beauty, featuring full-figured women with elaborate hairstyles, emerged in China in the early eighth century C.E. This change has often been associated with Yang Guifei, the beloved and influential concubine of the emperor Xuanzong (r. 713–56 C.E.). While Yang rose to power in the 740s, evidence of the taste for voluptuous women appears in tombs that date as early as the 720s.
On view
Tang dynasty (618–907 C.E.)

Yamanaka & Co., New York, 1930; Associates in Fine Arts, New Haven, Conn.; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.


George J. Lee, Selected Far Eastern Art in the Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1970), 202, no. 406, ill.

Ezekiel Schloss, Ming Ch’i: Clay Figures Reflecting Life in Ancient China, exh. cat. (Katonah, N.Y.: Katonah Gallery, 1975), no. 88.

Mimi Gardner Gates, The Communion of Scholars: Chinese Art at Yale, exh. cat. (New York: China House Gallery, 1982), 54–55, no. 19, ill.

Handbook of the Collections, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1992), 288, ill.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.