Northern Qi Dynasty
Tall thin slab slightly rounded at top. Dark limestone weathered a golden brown. Both obverse and reverse are in three registers with niches containing Buddhas and bodhisattvas. The inscription on obverse gives the date as, "6th year of the Wuping period of the [Northern] Qi Dynasty, fourth moon, eighth day", which corresponds to May 3, 575 CE. The obverse shows Tushita Heaven at the top with Maitreya flanked by monks and bodhisattvas, and Sakyamuni and Prabuhtaratna Buddha in a small stupa above. The scene in the middle depicts a Buddha and a crowned bodhisattva with monks and bodhisattvas on either side. Between them stands a Buddha. Below this is a crowned bodhisattva underneath two trees flanked by monks, bodhisattvas, and pratyekabuddhas. The reverse side depicts Sukhavati, Amitabha Buddha's paradise, at the top, with reborn souls appearing in the foliage above the Buddha. In the center, Vimalakirti, a Buddhist layman, holds a fan as he debates with Manjusri, the Bodhisattva of Wisdom amid a group of seated monks. Below this is a scene from the Lotus Sutra showing Prabhutaratna and Sakyamuni Buddhas preaching together side by side. The sides of the stela show eight buddhas, a standing Maitreya (with crown) and standing Sakyamuni Buddha with six Buddhas of the Past beneath them (three on each side). Probably from the Xiangtangshan caves in Hebei province.
Purchased from H. Kevorkian, 1924
Current & Past Exhibitions:
Chinese Halls (1941 - 1966)
[Catalogue] Tsiang, Katherine R. 2010. Echoes of the past : the Buddhist cave temples of Xiangtangshan. : Page/Fig./Plate: pg. 226; pg. 232-3 cat. 33
[Article] Steinhardt, Nancy S. 2008. "The Chinese Rotunda". Arts of Asia. 38 (5): 83-95. : Page/Fig./Plate: Pg. 89, Fig. 22
[Catalogue] Lyons, Elizabeth, et al. 1985. Buddhism: History and Diversity of a Great Tradition. : Page/Fig./Plate: 22
[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. 39, Fig. 31
[Article] Warner, Langdon. 1936. Chinese Sculpture at London. The American Magazine of Art. 29 (3) : Page/Fig./Plate: 157-175, fig. 6
[Article] Jayne, Horace H. F. 1935. The Museum's Loan to Burlington House ( for International Exhibition of Chinese Art held in London 1935-36). The University Museum Bulletin. 6 (1) : Page/Fig./Plate: 17-21, pl. 6
[Catalogue] Royal Academy of Arts. 1935. Catalogue of the International Exhibition of Chinese Art. : Page/Fig./Plate: Pg. 214, No. 2496; Pg. 231, 2496A-B (illustration)
[Article] Fernald, Helen E. 1931. An Early Chinese Sculptured Stela of 575 A.D. Eastern Art. Volume III : Page/Fig./Plate: 73-109, figs. 1, 2, 3, 10, 11, 12, 19, 20, 24, 34, 36, 37, 38.
[Article] Fernald, H. E. 1926. Ancient Chinese Musical Instruments. The Museum Journal. Volume XVII (No. 4): 325-371. : Page/Fig./Plate: 325-371
[Article] 1924. Chinese Sculpture. The Museum Journal. Volume XV (No. 4): 258-287. : Page/Fig./Plate: 258-287, pls. 6, 19.
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