Bodhisattva

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

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  • A work made of limestone with traces of polychromy.

Date:

Tang dynasty (618–906), c. 725/50

Artist:

China

About this artwork

In eighth-century China, Buddhist sculptors adopted new standards of secular beauty for spiritual figures. Whereas images of the Buddha appear sternly formal, bodhisattvas, the merciful deities that guide men toward salvation, often display more humanistic features. This bodhisattva’s graceful proportions, upswept hair, sinuous drapery, and delicate jewelry convey an appealing physical elegance. Seated informally, the deity is poised to step down from its pedestal.

Together with a large seated Buddha and another attendant bodhisattva in the Art Institute collection (1930.83, 1930.84), this sculpture came to the museum in 1930 with a note of its discovery in a temple known as Cangfosi in northern Hebei province. Neither archaeological nor written records have been located to confirm this reported site. The scale and stone medium of these figures suggest that they were commissioned for a cave temple or shrine a chamber carved into the face of a mountain or cliff.

On View

Asian Art, Gallery 101

Title

Bodhisattva

Origin

China

Date

725 AD–750 AD

Medium

Limestone with traces of polychromy

Dimensions

157.5 cm (62 in.)

Credit Line

Lucy Maud Buckingham Collection

Reference Number

1930.85

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 .

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