Currently On Display
|Period:||Northern Qi Dynasty|
|Date Made:||551 CE|
Life of the Buddha
|Inscription Language:||Chinese Language|
|Credit Line:||Purchased from C. T. Loo, 1923|
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 Halls (1941 - 1966)||View Objects in Exhibition|
|China Gallery (22 Feb 2017)||View Objects in Exhibition|
|Chinese Rotunda (1968 - 22 Feb 2017)||View Objects in Exhibition|
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