Ceramic tomb figures were especially distinguished during the T’ang dynasty. Polychrome painting of fine quality was applied to lifelike earthenware sculpture raising these wares to a new level of excellence. The serious, dignified demeanor of a civil official is captured perfectly in this large, well-modeled figure. Elegant in his tall court hat and long robe with flowing sleeves, this dignitary has a realistically modeled face and clasps his hands respectfully in front of his chest. Figures such as this reflect the high value placed by the Chinese on education and beaurocratic service. Government service, either civil or military, was the primary goal of most Confucian-trained scholars.