Pilgrim Flask (Bian Hu)

A work made of stoneware with mold-impressed decoration under yellowish-brown lead glaze.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of stoneware with mold-impressed decoration under yellowish-brown lead glaze.

Date:

Sui (581–618) or early Tang dynasty (618–907), c. late 6th/7th century

Artist:

China

About this artwork

The flat sides of this canteen-shaped container depict a youthful dancer and a musician who perform above a pair of romping lions. In their costumes and facial features, these performers resemble figures depicted in ancient Hellenistic art. The clarity of their features is partially obscured by a thickly applied glaze, as well as by the dense background of undulating foliage, floral heads, and grapevines. Some of these designs clearly derive from Central Asian metalwork. They may have been transmitted to China as decorative motifs on imported objects or alternatively, as background patterns on Buddhist images that were brought to China or created in China from Central Asian prototypes.

Currently Off View

Asian Art

Title

Pilgrim Flask (Bian Hu)

Origin

China

Date

565 AD–699 AD

Medium

Stoneware with mold-impressed decoration under yellowish-brown lead glaze

Dimensions

24.1 × 20.4 × 12.2 cm (9 1/2 × 8 × 4 13/16 in.)

Credit Line

Lucy Maud Buckingham Collection

Reference Number

1924.270

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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