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Pictorial Brick with Walking Noblewomen
Source: Henan Museum Edit: acf Time: 2022.01.25 14:39:57


Measurements: 38 cm long, 19 cm wide, 6 cm high
Period: The Northern and Southern dynasties (420--589)
Provenance: Unearthed at Xuezhuang village, Deng county (modern Dengzhou), Nanyang, Henan, 1958.

Rectangular in form, the plane of the brick was molded with scene of the women on an outing. Four women clad in long skirts gaze out from the front left, positioned sequentially from front to back. Two ladies stand s in front, with ring-formed high topknots. One stands with her hand in her sleeves, followed by the other holding a fan; two other maidservants stand in the back, each with divided flying wing-shaped topknots. One holds a folded straw mat under her arm, the strap of her skirt flying in the wind. Women of that time loved loose skirts with wide straps, long and light sleeves, and had streamers as ornaments. The topknot tended to be high and large. Such dresses made women look as if they were floating gracefully along with the wind.

The portrait on the brick precisely and vividly depicts the personality and temperament of the figures, and the noblewomen and the maidservants are easily identified. The image on the brick shows the lifestyle customs and characteristics of clothing of nobility during the Southern dynasties during the Northern and Southern dynasties, whereby it is regarded as precious physical reference for studying the art of painting of the period.