Tomb tile with dragon and warrior - ROM2004_1378_4


Tomb tile with dragon and warrior

Medium:Slab-built earthenware
Geography: Reportedly from Luoyang Jincun, Henan province, China
Date: 206 BC-9 AD
Period: Western Han Dynasty
81.5 x 106.5 x 17.5 cm
Object number: 931.13.186
Credit Line: Bishop William C. White Collection
On view
Gallery Location:Gallery of Chinese Architecture
DescriptionAs part of a tomb structure, this tile was used by an upper class family during the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC - AD 9), China. In the 1930s the tile was recovered in the Luoyang, Henan province, and brought back to the ROM by Bishop White. The triangular shaped clay hollow-brick was slated on the cables of a doorway between a front chamber and a rare chamber, allowing the beautifully colored images to be viewed from both sides. Painted on the surface of the tile is an image of a warrior holding a shield, he is empowered by a flying dragon, a rare artistic theme present in early China. The dragon allows the warrior to ride on its back as he moves through three different universes: the underground world, human world, and paradise world. The image of the warrior and the dragon on such a tomb tile is unusual. The ancient symbol of the dragon gave the warrior courage and the desire to live a long life, perhaps that is what the owner of the tomb, maybe a military person, wished for the afterlife.
If you see an error or have additional information, please contact us by clicking here.