Vivian Wang

Blue Boy II

Cast glass. stoneware, gemstones, steel base, 22.5"h x 16"w x 16"d (including base), Item No. 17865,

“Blue Boy II” portrays the Chinese Emperor Xuanzong at age 10, when he was made Prince of Chu. He reigned as Emperor (712-756) during the Tang Dynasty (618-906) which was known as China’s Golden Age.

He wears the court attire of the time, a “double robe,” a robe over a wrap front tunic.  His hair accessory creates a spiral at the top of his head, a popular trend during the 6th and 7th century of China. Covered in gold and gemstones, he is the epitome of opulence.

Xuanzong was known as the “Brilliant Emperor” and is considered the most popular of all Chinese emperors.  His court was the most distinguished in Chinese history and enabled him to raise the empire to new heights of civilization and splendor. Sadly, he lost it all in old age for the love of a woman.

At the age of 60, Xuanzong became infatuated with one of his son’s wives, Yang Guifei. She was young, beautiful and witty.  The Emperor brought her into his palace as a Taoist priestess. Once there she soon took control of palace politics and, by 752, her family  dominated the political scene.  

This began the downward spiral of the empire.  Near the end of Xuanzong’s reign, he and Yang Guifei were forced to flee to Sichuan where Yang Guifei was murdered. His son Duzong took the throne. One year later, at the age of 77, Xuanzong died.