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Pictorial stone depicting deer-drawn chariot
Source: Henan Museum Edit: acf Time: 2019.11.27 15:15:53 Views:


Han dynasty (206 BC-AD 220)
Length 64 cm, Width 45 cm, Thickness 35 cm
Excavated in Nanyang, Henan Province

On one side of this rectangular stone is a carved image of a deer-drawn chariot with ascending immortals, all enveloped in clouds. The carriage is decorated with a slanting animal tail standard. Behind follows another deer, and two men holding a numinous fungus and herbs of immortality. Clouds decorate the empty spaces. The deer, chariot and people are carved in relief, with the more detailed sections in linear negative legend carving. In contrast, the backgrounds is produced by linear lateral negative legend carving, making the main subjects appear more prominent.

This work employs extremely succinct skill in carving. Though carving of the running deer, flying chariot and the human figures makes limited use of the blade, their forms are still boldly illustrated, giving the work a dynamic and powerful aesthetic, making it the foremost illustration of this period of maturity in the Han pictorial arts of Nanyang.