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Votive Stela

This object is On Display
86364

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77168
48980
48979
89534
Object Number:C404
Current Location: China & Japan Gallery
Currently On Display
Culture:Chinese
Buddhist
Provenience: China
Henan
Period: Northern Qi Dynasty
Date Made: 551 CE
Early Date: 551
Late Date: 551
Section:Asian
Materials:Stone
Technique:Carved
Low Relief
High Relief
Iconography:Buddha
Monks
Bodhisattvas
Manjusri
Vimalakirti
Life of the Buddha
Dragons
Dancers
Musicians
Lotus
Lion
Height: 99 cm
Width: 51 cm
Depth: 28 cm
Thickness: 0 cm
Credit Line:Purchased from C. T. Loo, 1923

Description

Votive stela. Carved block of grey limestone with a brownish patina. The recess in the front contains figures in high relief while the sides are carved with scenes in very low relief. The top is curved and supports the arched bodies of three double-headed dragons. The back is inscribed. The original inscription was probably erased to make room for the current one which tells of the restoration of the stela in 1561 CE. This is followed by the names of distinguished personages which is followed by a history of the stela in which it is stated that the monument was dedicated in the 2nd year of the Tianbao reign period of the Northern Qi (551 CE). In the central scene of this stela, the Buddha is surrounded by an assembly of monks, bodhisattvas, and priests. Above this, two figures sit debating the Buddhist truths. Vimalakirti, a Buddhist layman, is on the right holding a fan and Manjusri, the bodhisattva of wisdom, is on the left. The scene is from Vimalakirti Nirdesa Sutra which introduced the concept that enlightenment could be attained by laymen and not only be ascetic monks, thus promoting Buddhism among the Chinese intellectual elite.

Current & Past Exhibitions:

Chinese Rotunda (1968) View Objects in Exhibition
Chinese Halls (1941 - 1966) View Objects in Exhibition

Bibliography:

[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. Actual Citation : Page/Fig./Plate: p. 36 Fig. 29View Objects related to this Actual Citation
[Article] Fernald, Helen E. 1927. "A Note on the Chinese Stela of 551 A.D." The Museum Journal. Philadelphia. The University Museum. Vol. XVIII. no. No. 1. Actual Citation : Page/Fig./Plate: 111-114View Objects related to this Actual Citation
[Article] Fernald, Helen E. 1926. "Ancient Chinese Musical Instruments". The Museum Journal. Philadelphia. The University Museum. Vol. XVII. no. No. 4. pg. 325-371 Actual Citation : Page/Fig./Plate: 325-371View Objects related to this Actual Citation
[Book] Siren, Osvald. 1925. Chinese sculpture from the fifth to the fourteenth century; over 900 specimens in stone, bronze, lacquer and wood, principally from northern China.. London. E. Benn, Ltd. Actual Citation : Page/Fig./Plate: Plate 233, 234View 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: 64, pl. 26View Objects related to this Actual Citation
[Article] Gordon, George B. 1923. "A Fine Chinese Stela in the Museum". The Museum Journal. Philadelphia. The University Museum. Vol. XIV. no. No. 1. Actual Citation : Page/Fig./Plate: 27-33View Objects related to this Actual Citation

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