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White Glazed Herdboy Riding a Buffalo with Black Decorations
Source: Henan Museum Edit: acf Time: 2023.06.25 17:52:50

Period: Jin dynasty (1115-1234)
Dimensions: L.13.5 cm, H. 8.5 cm
Provenance: Transference

Being clay sculpted, the buffalo is in recumbent position, on which a seated herdboy wears a red cloak, with his right hand holding a fish, left hand vaguely taking a leaf, it is a really spirited and adorable kid. The lips, tail, horns of the animal were painted in black, the face and body covered by white glaze, some of which have peeled off.

Herdboy and buffalo were common themes in ancient Chinese arts of painting, sculpture, and clay kneading. The scenes of herdboy riding on a buffalo, the crisscrossed farmland paths were lifelike and vibrant. The artistic theme “herdboy” was firmly forged as early as in the Tang dynasty, the didactic Buddhism doctrines were conveyed through the mouth of the herdboy, and the imagery of the herdboy was further formalized and became plentiful over the course of the Buddhist prosperity during Song and Jin dynasties. Over the course of image intensification and consolidation, the pleasure and serenity in the life of the herdboy were underlined, which demonstrated the then people’s longing for a good life.