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Tomb Sculpture

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Object Number:C656
Current Location: China & Japan Gallery
Currently On Display
Provenience: China
Neiqiu County
Period: Han Dynasty
Date Made: ca. 200 CE
Early Date: 200
Late Date: 220
Iconography:Winged Lion
Height: 152.4 cm
Length: 208.3 cm
Width: 78.4 cm
Credit Line:Purchased from C. T. Loo, 1927


One of a pair of colossal stone winged lions (C656 and C657). The winged lion is a mythical animal primarily containing lion and dragon features. They are often placed in pairs at the beginning of a pathway that leads to a burial mound. Depicted in a running motion, this male lion and its female counterpart demonstrate strength and power through emphasis on muscle. It was believed that they would enhance the dignity of the tomb, glorify the memory of the deceased and protect against evil spirits. This piece has one horn and a beard falling onto its chest. The legs, tail, and ears are broken and partly missing.

Current & Past Exhibitions:

Chinese Rotunda (1968) View Objects in Exhibition
Chinese Halls (1941 - 1966) View Objects in Exhibition


[Article] Qin, Zhongpei, and Smith, Adam D. 2017. "Marking the Spirit Road: Funerary Stone Sculpture in China". Expedition: The Magazine of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. Philadelphia. The University Museum. Vol. 59. no. 3. Actual CitationView Objects related to this Actual Citation
[Article] Till, Barry. 1980. "Some Observations on Stone Winged Chimeras at Ancient Tomb Sites". Artibus Asiae. Dresden. Vol. 42. no. 4. pg. 261-281 Actual Citation : Page/Fig./Plate: Fig. 14a,bView Objects related to this Actual Citation
[Book] Horne, Lee C. 1985. Introduction to the Collections of The University Museum.. Philadelphia. The University Museum. Actual Citation : Page/Fig./Plate: 59View Objects related to this Actual Citation
[Article] Jayne, Horace H. 1941. "The Chinese Collections of The University Museum: A Handbook of the Principal Objects". The University Museum Bulletin. Philadelphia. The University Museum. Vol. 9. no. 2-3. Actual Citation : Page/Fig./Plate: Fig. 3View Objects related to this Actual Citation
[Article] Jayne, Horace H. 01 Jan 1939. "Chinese Art at the University Museum". Parnassus. Vol. 11. no. 1. Actual Citation : Page/Fig./Plate: IllustrationView Objects related to this Actual Citation
[Book] March, Benjamin. 1929. China and Japan in our Museums.. New York. American Council, Institute of Pacific Relations. Actual Citation : Page/Fig./Plate: 87View Objects related to this Actual Citation
[Article] Siren, Osvald. 1928. "Winged Chimeras in Early Chinese Art". Eastern Art. Philadelphia. College Art Association of America. Vol. I. no. No. 2. pg. 86-96 Actual Citation : Page/Fig./Plate: 86-96, Plates 9, 10View Objects related to this Actual Citation
[Article] Fernald, Helen E. 1927. "Two Colossal Stone Chimeras from A Chinese Tomb". The Museum Journal. Philadelphia. The University Museum. Vol. XVIII. no. No. 2. pg. 159-173 Actual Citation : Page/Fig./Plate: 159-173View Objects related to this Actual Citation

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