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Washington, United States
loves: you win if you guessed "pets" and "museums". Also books, art history, travel, British punk, Korean kimchi, bindis, martinis, and other things TBD. I will always make it very clear if a post is sponsored in any way. Drop me a line at thepetmuseum AT gmail.com !

Thursday, April 10, 2014

centuries of watchdog

Figure of a Recumbent Dog, 4th century. Gray earthenware with red polychrome, 3 5/8 x 6 1/4 x 3 5/8 in. (9.2 x 15.8 x 9.2 cm).
Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Guennol Collection, 1998.85.1. Creative Commons-BY

Image: overall, 1998.85.1_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
This imposing fellow has been at his post since the 4th century, the Six Dynasties period of Chinese history.  Though this was a time of political upheaval, the arts at this time became less about state-sanctioned imagery and more about personal statement.  Poetry, in particular, is considered to have enjoyed a remarkable development in its emphasis on human love and relationships.  However, looking at the sensitive and even comic face of this dog, I see the proof of another relationship.  Most likely this was a funeral figurine, meant to watch loyally over the deceased.

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