Flying Horse Of Gansu

Eastern Han dynasty, 25 - 220 AD
Gansu Provincial Museum

This outstanding bronze horse has become an iconic emblem of China. Racing through the skies, it treads on a swallow (base of statue) that looks up in amazement. Unlike Pegasus, the Western flying horse, the wingless Han steed is meant to be understood metaphorically rather than literally; it represents an ideal horse that can gallop so fast that it seems to outrun the wind.

The sculpture is perfectly balanced on only one hoof, to complete the illusion of flight.