A pair of painted ceramic dancers

Tags: ceramics | figurine | Northern Wei dynasty

This figurine, unearthed in Luoyiang, Henan in 1928, was made in the late North Wei period. The head and the body were made separately, then joined together and trimmed. The material of these earthen female dancers was gray clay. Engobe, liquid clay added to the body for decoration soon after it has been formed, was added to disguise the join, and later it was glazed, completing the camouflage. The dancers' bodies are slim. Their hair is pulled into a knot on the top of their heads. They are dressed in long V-neck laced robes with high belts and long wide fan-shaped sleeves falling to below the waist. Below the hem of the gown you can just see the tips of pointy shoes. Their graceful sleeves waving in the air, these slim figured dancers are quite striking. As a reflection of this ancient culture, this pair of earthenware dancers are precious material for the research into the art and social customs of the period.


National Museum of History