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Female Courtier


Western Han dynasty (206 BCE–9 CE)

Not on view

This is one of three figures—a male warrior, a eunuch, and a female courtier—which were recovered at the tomb of Emperor Jing (r. 157–141 B.C.). They were meant to provide for the emperor in his afterlife, the warrior offering protection, the eunuch and the courtier attending to his needs. The figures were mass produced, with their heads, torsos, and legs molded separately as pieces and then joined with clay before firing. They originally were painted, a light reddish brown on their faces and body and black on their hair and eyebrows. Remnants of fabric at the point of excavation suggest that they once wore cloth garments.

Female Courtier, Earthenware with pigment, China

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