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HOME : Chinese Art : Sui Dynasty : Northern Qi Stone Standing Bodhisattva
Northern Qi Stone Standing Bodhisattva - RL.0940
Origin: China
Circa: 550 AD to 577 AD
Dimensions: 35" (88.9cm) high x 12" (30.5cm) wide
Collection: Chinese
Condition: Fine

Additional Information: hong Kong

Location: UAE
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The Northern Qi Bodhisattva is a piece of exceptional quality. Wearing a lavish crown of jewels, his head, erect and frontal, shows the calm serenity of one who, having overcome the suffering of this world, has found peace in the lotus of the good law. Although his hands are missing, they were meant to be raised in the Abhaya Mudra, which indicates that the faithful should have no fear but should put their trust in him. The feeling of serenity that emanates from this religious figure is sure to touch those who share his presence. The decorative keyura is nicely executed and well preserved. The extensive shimmering spots of crystallisation of the stone echoes with visible hints of gilding, reflecting a playful interaction of lights.

Bodhisattva figures of related type became popular through the patronage of the Northern Wei imperial family, who commissioned the carving of rock caves in Longmen and Gongxian, both in Henan province, in the first quarter of the 6th century, which typically show seated or standing Buddhas flanked by two bodhisattvas. Besides these massive stone carvings in cave temples, many free-standing steles, also often with two such Bodhisattva figures on either side of a central Buddha statue, were commissioned in that century, which followed the artistic language introduced by these grand Buddhist cave sculpture projects, which exerted an overwhelming influence on Chinese sculpture of the period in general.

This majestic figure of a Bodhisattva has fine, even facial features, with particular attention paid to its elegant, decoratively stylized crown and garment with loose scarves and knotted ribbons. The low-relief carving style and almost complete disregard for the shape of the body under the garments is characteristic of the Northern Qi period. Unlike the subsequent Sui style, sculptors during Northern Dynasties period were less interested in rendering the three-dimensional physical side of a deity figure than in capturing its spiritual message through delicate facial features and gestures. - (RL.0940)


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