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Painted Terracotta Beast Mask
Source: Henan Museum Edit: acf Time: 2021.01.08 10:05:12

Measurements: L.23.5 cm, W. 22 cm, H. 12 cm
Period: Tang dynasty (618--907 CE)
Provenance: Unearthed at the Kangdian Brick Factory, Gongyi county, Henan province, 1986

The molded beast mask, made of white clay with traces of red painting, features two splay horns above the eyebrows, bulging eyes, and wide open mouth baring the teeth.

Sumptuous funerals flourished in Tang dynasty, the conception of “View the death as the living” still prevailed, accordingly the burial objects are embodiments of the social trends and ideology of the people at the times. The current face mask looks scaring and hideous, just like the soapstone version of the Han dynasty, was presumably a burial object for warding off evil spirits in the tomb.