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Altar Frontal

Object Number:
C693
Current Location:
China Gallery
Culture:
Chinese
Provenience:
China
Hebei
Xiangtangshan
Period:
Northern Qi Dynasty
Date Made:
Northern Qi Dynasty
Early Date:
550
Late Date:
557
Section:
Asian
Materials:
Stone
Technique:
Relief
Iconography:
Buddha
Sakyamuni
Prabhutaratna
Lion
Guardian
Lotus Sutra
Description:
Among the niches in this altar frontal that contain images of the Buddha, the scene at the top right is from the Lotus Sutra, a fundemental Mahayana Buddhist text. When this doctorine was preached by Sakyamuni, the Buddha of the present era, to a great assembly of celestial and earthly beings, the relics of Prabhutaratna, the Buddha of the past, arose and Prabhutarartna materialized.

The relied carving also includes an incense burner between two seated lions. The lion as a Buddhist guardian figure has been a common motif in Chinese art since the introduction of Buddhism in China.
Credit Line:
Gift of C. T. Loo

Current & Past Exhibitions:

Chinese Rotunda (1968)
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Chinese Halls (1941 - 1966)
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Bibliography:

[Catalogue] Tsiang, Katherine R. 2010. Echoes of the past : the Buddhist cave temples of Xiangtangshan. : Page/Fig./Plate: pg. 247 fig. 61
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[Article] Howard, Angela F. 2001. "Reconstructing the Original Location of a Group of Sculptures in the University of Pennsylvania Museum". Orientations. 32 (2): 32-39. : Page/Fig./Plate: 38
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[Article] Jayne, Horace H. F. 1941. The Chinese Collections of The University Museum: A Handbook of the Principal Objects. The University Museum Bulletin. 9 (2-3) : Page/Fig./Plate: Pg. 59
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