Tang Taizong Horse
General Qiu Xinggong
After consolidating the Tang Empire, Emperor Taizong ordered six large stone panels to be carved with the portraits of his favorite horses. These were the horses he had ridden in overcoming his rivals and securing the borders of the country. From the laudatory poem he composed for each horse, we believe we can identify the two in our collection. The relief shown here depicts "Autumn Dew," also known as "Whirlwind Victory." Historical records say he was ridden in battle by the emperor during a great siege, when, after being stuck with an arrow, the emperor was forced to dismount and switch horses with his general, Qiu Xinggong. The general is shown here pulling the arrow out of Autumn Dew's chest while the horse stoically bears the pain.
The six horse reliefs were placed outside Taizong's tomb on an altar meant for memorial ceremonies. They stood there for over a thousand years worshipped by imperial and common people alike. Like their master, the horses had become divine in the minds of the Chinese people. They continue to hold a special place in their hearts to this day.
Purchased from C. T. Loo; Subscription of Eldridge R. Johnson
Current & Past Exhibitions:
Chinese Rotunda (1968)
Chinese Halls (1941 - 1966)
Silk Road Highlights Supplement - Exhibition
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