Terracotta figure of Fat Lady, Chine, Tang Dynasty, 618-906 A. D.
One of the most recognisable types from the Tang dynasty is that of the “fat ladies”, figures of concubines and entertainers depicted with round faces and rosy cheeks and a more plump figure. This form of depicting courtesans and dancers appears in 730 A.D.
The origin of depictions of ‘fat ladies’ can be traced 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.