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Model of a Building

Artist/maker unknown, Chinese

Made in Zhangde, Henan Province, China, Asia

2nd century

Earthenware with incised decoration and traces of painted decoration

Height: 48 inches (121.9 cm)

Curatorial Department:
East Asian Art

* Gallery 333, Asian Art, third floor (Rome Gallery)

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Gift of Charles H. Ludington from the George Crofts Collection, 1925

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Additional information:
  • PublicationPhiladelphia Museum of Art: Handbook of the Collections

    Since no actual buildings from the Western Han dynasty have survived, models such as this, which were placed in tombs to accompany the deceased in the afterlife, provide vital material evidence of early Chinese architecture. The model clearly illustrates the basic Chinese building scheme used for nearly two thousand years: post and crossbeam construction, bracketing to help support the weight of the beams, and tiled roofs with projecting eaves. The building probably represents the main house of a large residential complex. The lower story would have been used for storage and the upper floors for living quarters, with a watchtower at the top. The various sections of the model were shaped from molds in a fine-bodied gray clay and show traces of paint. Felice Fischer, from Philadelphia Museum of Art: Handbook of the Collections (1995), p. 26.

* Works in the collection are moved off view for many different reasons. Although gallery locations on the website are updated regularly, there is no guarantee that this object will be on display on the day of your visit.