University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

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Object Number: C429
Current Location: China Gallery
Currently On Display
Provenience: China
Period: Northern Qi Dynasty
Date Made: 575 CE
Early Date: 575
Late Date: 575
Sakyamuni Buddha
Prabhutaratna Buddha
Bodhisattva Maitreya
Height: 213.5cm
Width: 62cm
Depth: 25.5cm
Credit Line:Purchased from H. Kevorkian, 1924


Tall thin slab slightly rounded at top. Dark limestone weathered a golden brown. Both obverse and reverse are in three registers with niches containing Buddhas and bodhisattvas. The inscription on obverse gives the date as, "6th year of the Wuping period of the [Northern] Qi Dynasty, fourth moon, eighth day", which corresponds to May 3, 575 CE. The obverse shows Tushita Heaven at the top with Maitreya flanked by monks and bodhisattvas, and Sakyamuni and Prabuhtaratna Buddha in a small stupa above. The scene in the middle depicts a Buddha and a crowned bodhisattva with monks and bodhisattvas on either side. Between them stands a Buddha. Below this is a crowned bodhisattva underneath two trees flanked by monks, bodhisattvas, and pratyekabuddhas. The reverse side depicts Sukhavati, Amitabha Buddha's paradise, at the top, with reborn souls appearing in the foliage above the Buddha. In the center, Vimalakirti, a Buddhist layman, holds a fan as he debates with Manjusri, the Bodhisattva of Wisdom amid a group of seated monks. Below this is a scene from the Lotus Sutra showing Prabhutaratna and Sakyamuni Buddhas preaching together side by side. The sides of the stela show eight buddhas, a standing Maitreya (with crown) and standing Sakyamuni Buddha with six Buddhas of the Past beneath them (three on each side). Probably from the Xiangtangshan caves in Hebei province.

Current & Past Exhibitions:

Chinese Halls (1941 - 1966)View Objects in Exhibition


[Catalogue] Tsiang, Katherine R. 2010. Echoes of the past : the Buddhist cave temples of Xiangtangshan. : Page/Fig./Plate: pg. 226; pg. 232-3 cat. 33View Objects related to this Bibliographic Reference
[Article] Steinhardt, Nancy S. 2008. "The Chinese Rotunda". Arts of Asia. 38 (5): 83-95. : Page/Fig./Plate: Pg. 89, Fig. 22View Objects related to this Bibliographic Reference
[Catalogue] Lyons, Elizabeth, et al. 1985. Buddhism: History and Diversity of a Great Tradition. : Page/Fig./Plate: 22View Objects related to this Bibliographic Reference
[Article] Jayne, Horace H. F. 1941. The Chinese Collections of The University Museum: A Handbook of the Principal Objects. The University Museum Bulletin. 9 (2-3) : Page/Fig./Plate: Pg. 39, Fig. 31View Objects related to this Bibliographic Reference
[Article] Warner, Langdon. 1936. Chinese Sculpture at London. The American Magazine of Art. 29 (3) : Page/Fig./Plate: 157-175, fig. 6View Objects related to this Bibliographic Reference
[Article] Jayne, Horace H. F. 1935. The Museum's Loan to Burlington House ( for International Exhibition of Chinese Art held in London 1935-36). The University Museum Bulletin. 6 (1) : Page/Fig./Plate: 17-21, pl. 6View Objects related to this Bibliographic Reference
[Catalogue] Royal Academy of Arts. 1935. Catalogue of the International Exhibition of Chinese Art. : Page/Fig./Plate: Pg. 214, No. 2496; Pg. 231, 2496A-B (illustration)View Objects related to this Bibliographic Reference
[Article] Fernald, Helen E. 1931. An Early Chinese Sculptured Stela of 575 A.D. Eastern Art. Volume III : Page/Fig./Plate: 73-109, figs. 1, 2, 3, 10, 11, 12, 19, 20, 24, 34, 36, 37, 38.View Objects related to this Bibliographic Reference
[Article] Fernald, H. E. 1926. Ancient Chinese Musical Instruments. The Museum Journal. Volume XVII (No. 4): 325-371. : Page/Fig./Plate: 325-371View Objects related to this Bibliographic Reference
[Article] 1924. Chinese Sculpture. The Museum Journal. Volume XV (No. 4): 258-287. : Page/Fig./Plate: 258-287, pls. 6, 19.View Objects related to this Bibliographic Reference

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