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Tang Tri-colored Glazed Pottery


A type of glazed pottery with the dominant colors of yellow, brown and green was very popular in theTang Dynasty(618-907). It was later called thetri-colored glazed pottery of the TangDynasty, orTangsancai.

TheTang tri-colored glazed potteryis a low-melting glazed pottery. It was made by adding metallic oxides to the colored glaze and calcining the object to create different colors, namely the predominant yellow, brown and green. The chemicals in the glaze change gradually in the firing process, creating a variegated effect with a majestic and elegant artistic attraction. Tri-colored glazed pottery was usually used as burial objects. Its loose and brittle base and its low waterproofing properties meant it was not as practical as theblue and white porcelainthat had already emerged at the time.

Tri-colored glazed pottery utensils of the Tang were usually rounded and full in shape in accordance with the aesthetic values of the time. The accurately proportioned human and animal figures have fluid lines, natural expressions and life-like movements. The soldier figures have strong muscles, big staring eyes and wield swords or arrows. The female figures have high hair buns and full sleeves; they stand gracefully erect, looking natural and elegant. The animal figures are mainly of horses and camels.

A tri-colored glazed pottery of a camel and a dance group was unearthed in a Tang general's tomb. The camel is brown and stands with its head raised high. The long hairs on its head, chest, stomach and upper parts of its two front legs were carefully executed. On the camel's back is a platform covered by a rug with two ethnic musicians seated on it with their backs to each other playing instruments. A third ethnic person dances between them. The three human figures have deep eyes, high-bridged noses and full beards; they are wearing long, green sweaters with turned-down collars and white boots. The figure in the front has a deep yellow coat. This piece of pottery is truly an exquisite handicraft.

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