On View In:
Gallery 208
Artist:   Artist Unknown  
Title:   Flying Dragon, one of a pair  
Date:   T'ang dynasty  
Medium:   Gilt bronze  
Dimensions:   6 1/2 x 9 9/16 x 7/8 in. (16.5 x 24.3 x 2.2 cm)  
Credit Line:   Gift of Ruth and Bruce Dayton  
Location:   Gallery 208  

The dragon is the universal emblem of China's cultural glory. As early as the Neolithic period, the Chinese considered this mythological creature to be an auspicious animal residing in heaven that provided rain and nourished life. By the late Bronze Age, the dragon was equated with the emperor, and in 221 b.c., Ch'in Shih Huang-ti, the great unifier of China and builder of the Great Wall, proclaimed himself to be a descendent of the dragon. From then on, virtually every ruler was referred to as the "The True Dragon, Son of Heaven," the Chinese court was known as the dragon throne, and official court garments were dragon robes.

Object Description  
Classification:   Sculpture  
Physical Description:   flying dragon with curving body; long, straight tail; black mount; incised scales and details  
Creation Place:   Asia, China, , ,  
Accession #:   2000.87.2.1  
Owner:   The Minneapolis Institute of Arts