Statue Base

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Object Number:C145
Current Location: Asia Galleries
Currently On Display
Provenience: China
Period: Wei Dynasty
Date Made: 525 CE
Early Date: 525
Late Date: 525
Inscription Language:Chinese Language
Credit Line:Purchased from C. T. Loo, 1916
Other Number:Getz 2 - Other Number


Square stone pedestal of grey limestone which originally supported a statue of Maitreya. Above the square pedestal base is an inverted lotus with a deep slot for mounting the statue. The front and two sides of the base are carved with scenes in low relief. The front scene shows an incense burner or reliquary, reminiscent in form of the pre-Buddhist mountain-shaped "bo shan lu" incense burner, supported by the upper body of a humanoid figure and flanked by lions. The scenes on the left and right sides depict a female and male donor respectively, likely a husband and wife, each surrounded by their attendants and making offerings of the same kind of incense burners or reliquaries depicted on the front. The male donor is shown as having arrived by a horse, which stands by with a groom, and the female by an ox-drawn wagon. Spaces in the scenes are filled with lotus, narcissus and phoenix ornament. The rear of the pedestal bears an inscription, dated to the equivalent of April 27, 525 CE, which identifies the donor of the pedestal as Cao Wangxi, a county prefect and military commander under the Northern Wei dynasty. The inscription states that the statue that would originally have been above the pedestal was an image of the Incarnation of Maitreya, the eagerly-awaited future Buddha whose arrival would bring salvation to the donor's family, ancestors, countrymen and all creatures in a suffering world.

Current & Past Exhibitions:

Chinese Halls (1941 - 1966) View Objects in Exhibition
Exhibition of Oriental Art (12 Feb 1916) View Objects in Exhibition
China Gallery (22 Feb 2017) View Objects in Exhibition
Chinese Rotunda (1968 - 22 Feb 2017) View Objects in Exhibition


[Article] Wong, Dorothy C. 2001. "Maitreya Buddha Statues at the University of Pennsylvania Museum". Orientations (Hong Kong). Hong Kong. Orientations Magazine Ltd. Vol. 32. no. 2. pg. 24-31 Actual Citation : Page/Fig./Plate: 30View Objects related to this Actual Citation
[Book] Smith, Bradley. 1973. China: A History in Art.. New York. Harper & Row. pg. 296 illus. 33 cm Actual Citation : Page/Fig./Plate: p. 110View Objects related to this Actual Citation
[Catalogue, Collection] 1965. Guide to the Collections, The University Museum.. Philadelphia. The University Museum. pg. 1-167 Actual Citation : Page/Fig./Plate: p. 167View Objects related to this Actual Citation
[Article] Jayne, Horace H. 1941. "The Chinese Collections of The University Museum: A Handbook of the Principal Objects". The University Museum Bulletin. Philadelphia. The University Museum. Vol. 9. no. 2-3. pg. 9-50 Actual Citation : Page/Fig./Plate: p. 25, Fig. 20View Objects related to this Actual Citation
[Thesis] Wegner, Max. 1930. Ikonographie des chinesischen Maitreya.. Actual Citation : Page/Fig./Plate: 216-229.View Objects related to this Actual Citation
[Book] De Morant, George S. 1928. Histoire de l'art chinois, de l'antiquite jusqu'a nos jours.. Paris. Payot. Actual Citation : Page/Fig./Plate: pl. 10A.View Objects related to this Actual Citation
[Book] Ashton, Leigh. 1924. An Introduction to the Study of Chinese Sculpture.. London. E. Benn, Ltd. Actual Citation : Page/Fig./Plate: pl. 54.View Objects related to this Actual Citation
[Catalogue] Getz, John. 1917. The University Museum Section of Oriental Art.. Philadelphia. The University Museum. Actual Citation : Page/Fig./Plate: No. 2View Objects related to this Actual Citation
[Article] Bishop, Carl W. 1916. "Two Early Chinese Buddhist Sculptures". The Museum Journal. Philadelphia. The University Museum. Vol. VII. no. No. 4. pg. 245-262 Actual Citation : Page/Fig./Plate: 245-262, figs. 194-197.View Objects related to this Actual Citation
[Book] Chavannes, Edouard. 1909. Mission Archeologique dans la Chine Septentrionale.. Paris. E. Leroux. Actual Citation : Page/Fig./Plate: 594, fig. 433.View Objects related to this Actual Citation
[Book] Bushell, Stephen W. 1904. Chinese Art.. London. Victoria and Albert Museum. Vol. Vol. 1. Actual Citation : Page/Fig./Plate: pg. 45-46, fig. 22.View Objects related to this Actual Citation

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