Location: On Display in the Asia Galleries
From: China | Shanxi | Li Cheng
Curatorial Section: Asian
|Current Location||Asia Galleries - On Display|
|Culture||Chinese | Buddhist|
|Provenience||China | Shanxi | Li Cheng|
|Date Made||6th Century CE|
|Materials||Limestone | Paint|
|Technique||Low Relief | Painted|
|Iconography||Vessantara Jataka | Prince Vessantara | Buddha | Buddhist Deity | Lokapala | Dragon | Lion|
This carved pedestal of dark grey limestone would have originally supported a statue in the socket at the top. The pedestal depicts scenes from one of the Jataka Tales, stories describing one of many previous incarnations of the Buddha before he was born as Siddhartha Gautama, or Sakyamuni. In this incarnation, the Buddha had been born as Prince Vessantara who gives away his worldly possessions, including an elephant thought to ensure wealth of his kingdom. This unprecedented generosity leads to his eventual attainment of enlightenment. The front panel shows an earth deity accompanied by lokapalas, or guardians. On the left Vessantara gives away his last belongings, including his cart. He says goodbye to his children on the right side, with his wife shown detained by deities in the form of wild animals so that she will not witneess Vessantara parting from their children. The back panel depicts Vessantara's two children now as servants in the hills.
|Credit Line||Purchased from C. T. Loo; Randall Morgan Fund, 1934|
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