Hu storage jar with figural decoration, Han dynasty, 2nd–1st century BC, polychrome paint earthenware, height 44 cm. National Gallery of Prague, Vp 739.
A number of Han vessels of the hu type, serving as beverage containers, are embellished by painted ornamentation. In addition to cosmological motifs, figural scenes are the most common. Several scenes can be distinguished on the vessel’s arm: a rowboat with oarsman and soldier, towards whom a horseman with sword or shield is riding, a two-wheeled cart pulled by a horse and two men in official attire. These scenes may be interpreted as idealized scenes from the life of the Han aristocracy.