Terracotta figure of a Fat Lady cradling a dog, Chine, Tang Dynasty, 618-906 A.D.
Example of “Fat Lady” seated on a stool with her body swaying and head turned, the ends of her long sleeves hanging from her hands in front of her corpulent body and cradling a small dog. His heavy, russet-coloured robe falls in deep folds over his feet. Her face is modelled with delicate features framed by the stiff wings of her coif to one side.
The origin of the depictions of ‘fat ladies’ goes back to the imperial concubine Yang Gui Fei, considered one of the great beauties of the Tang dynasty and the favourite concubine of Emperor Xuanzong. The ‘fat ladies’ have always been considered a source for studying the evolution of women’s costumes and aesthetic changes in the various stages of the Tang dynasty and Chinese history in general, due to their representation of an ideal of beauty typical of the period.