Skip to Content
Today Open today 10–11 members | 11–5 public


A work made of limestone with traces of polychromy.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

Image actions

  • A work made of limestone with traces of polychromy.


Sui Dynasty (589–618 A.D.)



About this artwork

Expressing serene dignity, these youthful monks stand erect, their eyes downcast and hands firmly joined in reverent prayer. Their long earlobes allude to earrings that were worn by the Buddha as a young Indian prince and to his rejection of material wealth. Characteristic of Sui dynasty sculpture, the monks’ sharply defined facial features and the folds of their robes enhance the figures’ flat, understated modeling. Each of their robes was originally painted with rectangles of different colors, signifying the patchwork mantle worn by the Buddha and by pious monks who emulated his humble values. Only shadowy traces of these pigments are now evident.


On View, Gallery 101


Arts of Asia




China (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

589 CE–618 CE


Limestone with traces of polychromy


88.3 × 25.4 × 16.6 cm (34 3/4 × 10 × 6 1/2 in.)

Credit Line

Lucy Maud Buckingham Collection

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

Learn more.

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


Sign up for our enewsletter to receive updates.

Learn more

Image actions