Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

One of a Pair of Seated Lions

Tang dynasty (618–907)
ca. late 7th–first half of the 8th century
Earthenware with remains of pigments
H. 10 1/4 in. (26 cm); W. 5 in. (12.7 cm); D. 6 5/8 in. (16.8 cm)
Credit Line:
Partial and Promised Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Stephen R. Beckwith, in honor of Suzanne G. Valenstein, 2002
Accession Number:
Not on view
While lions are not native to China, some specimens apparently had reached there from the West by the Western Han (206 BC.–AD 9) period: there is evidence, for example, that lions were among the many exotic animals kept in the Han-dynasty imperial parks. In all probability, these two meticulously sculpted ceramic figurines functioned as bases for some kind of stand. Counterparts to these earthenware lions can be found in Tang-dynasty (618–907) stone sculpture.
Related Objects


Date: 9th century Medium: Stoneware with splashed glaze (Jun ware) Accession: 1972.274 On view in:Gallery 204

Bowl with Dragons among Waves

Date: 10th century Medium: Stoneware with carved and incised decoration under celadon glaze (Yue ware) Accession: 18.56.36 On view in:Gallery 204

Standing Attendant

Date: 7th century Medium: Earthenware with pigment Accession: 2002.501 On view in:Gallery 207

Seated Female Musicians

Date: late 7th century Medium: Earthenware with pigment Accession: 23.180.4–.7 On view in:On view

Man with a Hoe

Date: 7th century Medium: Earthenware with pigment Accession: 2000.349.2 On view in:Gallery 207