These plaques were created by (or for) the Xianbei, a nomadic people living in the steppes region of what is now Mongolia and northern China, who would later control a large part of northern China as the Northern Wei dynasty (386–534). According to the dynastic history of the Wei, they were led into China by a mysterious animal spirit that was shaped like a horse and that bellowed like an ox.
[ L. Wannieck , Paris, until 1924; sold to MMA]
New York. Asia House Gallery. "Animal Style in Nomadic Asia," January 15, 1970–March 15, 1970.
Philadelphia. University of Pennsylvania. "Animal Style in Nomadic Asia," April 2, 1970–May 31, 1970.
de Young Museum, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. "Animal Style in Nomadic Asia," June 12, 1970–July 19, 1970.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Arts of Ancient China," 2005.
Nara National Museum. "The Legend of Pegasus and the Silk Route," April 5, 2008–June 1, 2008.