Altar Frontal


Location: On Display in the Asia Galleries

From: China | Hebei | Xiangtangshan

Curatorial Section: Asian

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Object Number C693
Current Location Asia Galleries - On Display
Culture Chinese | Buddhist
Provenience China | Hebei | Xiangtangshan
Period Northern Qi Dynasty
Date Made Northern Qi Dynasty
Section Asian
Materials Stone
Technique Relief
Iconography Buddha | Sakyamuni Buddha | Prabhutaratna Buddha | Lion | Guardian | Lotus Sutra

Among the niches in this altar frontal that contain images of the Buddha, the scene at the top right is from the Lotus Sutra, a fundemental Mahayana Buddhist text. When this doctorine was preached by Sakyamuni, the Buddha of the present era, to a great assembly of celestial and earthly beings, the relics of Prabhutaratna, the Buddha of the past, arose and Prabhutaratna materialized.

The relief carving also includes an incense burner between two seated lions. The lion as a Buddhist guardian figure has been a common motif in Chinese art since the introduction of Buddhism in China.

Height 76.2 cm
Width 121.92 cm
Credit Line Gift of C. T. Loo, 1928

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