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Pedestal

Object Number:
34-7-1
Current Location:
China Gallery
Culture:
Chinese
Provenience:
China
Shanxi
Li Cheng
Date Made:
6th Century
Early Date:
500
Late Date:
599
Section:
Asian
Materials:
Limestone
Paint
Technique:
Low relief
Painted
Iconography:
Vessantara Jataka
Prince Vessantara
Buddha
Buddhist Deity
Lokapala
Dragon
Lion
Description:
Pedestal. Oblong block of dark grey limestone. This carved pedestal would have originally supported a statue in the socket at the top. The pedestal depicts scenes from one of the Jataka Tales, stories describing one of many previous incarnations of the Buddha before he was born as Siddhartha Gautama, or Shakaymuni. In this incarnation, the Buddha had been born as Prince Vessantara who gives away his worldly possessions, including an elephant thought to ensure wealth of his kingdom. This unprecedented generosity leads to his eventual attainment of enlightenment. The front panel shows an earth deity accompanied by lokapalas, or guardians. On the left Vessantara gives away his last belongings, including his cart. He says goodbye to his children on the right side, with his wife shown detained by deities in the form of wild animals so that she will not witneess Vessantara parting from their children. The back panel depicts Vessantara's two children now as servants in the hills.
Credit Line:
Purchased from C. T. Loo; Randall Morgen Fund

Current & Past Exhibitions:

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

[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: Fig.19
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[Article] Fernald, Helen E. 1934. An Early Chinese Sculpture. The University Museum Bulletin. 5 (2) : Page/Fig./Plate: 48-53, pls.7, 8.
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[Article] Siren, Osvald. 1928. An Exhibition of Early Chinese Sculptures - I. The Burlington Magazine for Connoisseurs. Volume 53 (306): p. 127-129+132-135. : Page/Fig./Plate: 127-134, pl. 2.
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[Article] Ferguson, John C. 1919. Outlines of Chinese Art. Scammon lectures. : Page/Fig./Plate: 114-116.
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