In the event of a government shutdown, the National Museum of Asian Art will remain OPEN through at least Saturday, October 7, by using prior year funds. Visit for updates.

Standing figure of a bodhisattva

Detail of a pattern
Image 1 of 1

Terms of Use

Usage Conditions Apply

At A Glance

On View
  • Period

    ca. 523
  • Geography

    Gongxian Cave Temples, Cave 1, Henan province, China
  • Material

    Sandstone with traces of pigment
  • Dimension

    H x W x D (overall): 104.1 x 47.4 x 27.2 cm (41 x 18 11/16 x 10 11/16 in)
  • Accession Number



Object Details

  • Provenance

    Originally located in Gongxian Cave 1, niche 1, Henan province, China [1]
    Ca. 1914
    Friedrich Perzynski (1877-1965) [2]
    Ca. 1929
    Paul Kempner (1889-1956), Berlin, from at least January 1929 [3]
    To 1944
    Edgar Worch (1880-1972), New York to February 1944 [4]
    1944 to 1948
    C. T. Loo & Company, New York purchased from Edgar Worch in February 1944 [5]
    1948 to 1952
    C. T. Loo, INC. New York, NY, by transfer from C. T. Loo & Company, NY [6]
    From 1952
    Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from C. T. Loo, INC. on June 25, 1952 [7]
    [1] The original location of the sculpture in the Gongxian cave was confirmed by Stanley Abe in 2001. The measurements and details of the sculpture correspond to a blank area to the right of a seated Buddha sculpture in Cave 1, niche 1; the mirror image of the Freer sculpture is still in place to the left of the Buddha, see Jan Stuart and Chang Qing, "Chinese Buddhist Sculpture in a New Light at the Freer Gallery of Art," Orientations 34, 4 (April 2002), pp. 29 (ill.), 30-31.
    [2] According to annotations on C. T. Loo's stockcard no. NLP-44/908 cited in note 4, the statue was brought to Berlin by Friedrich Perzynski, a German expeditionist, collector, dealer, and writer, in or about 1914.
    [3] The sculpture was lent by Paul Kempner to an exhibition in Berlin in 1929, see Ausstellung chinesischer Kunst, exh. cat. (Berlin: Gesellschaft für Ostasiatische Kunst; Preussische Akademie der Künste, January 12 to April 2, 1929), cat. no. 242. The object was also included in Otto Kümmel's 1930 publication occasioned by the Berlin exhibition and was listed there as in Kempner's collection, see Otto Kümmel, ed., Chinesische Kunst: Zweihundert Hauptwerke der Ausstellung der Gesellschaft für Ostasiatische Kunst in der Preussischen Akademie der Künste, Berlin, 1929 (Berlin: B. Cassirer, 1930), pl. 66.
    [4] See C. T . Loo & Company’s stock card no. NLP-44/908: "Stone Stupa revêtement with standing base footed Bodhisattva wearing a long garment with hanging scarfs and sharp edged foldings, and holding in his left hand raised to chest level between graciously sculptured fingers a lotus bud (symbol of great purity) and the water bottle in his right hand, head slightly bending forward with closed eyes and the face expressing the divine contentment. Headdress ornated with a lotus petals and floral crown. The upper part of the halo missing. Bottom part repaired. First third of six century A. D. Northern Wei," Frank Caro Archive, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, copy in object file. According to annotations on the stock card, Loo’s company purchased the sculpture from Edgar Worch in February 1944.
    [5] See stock card cited in note 3. C. T. Loo opened C. T. Loo, INC in 1948, when he lost access to trade in China. The sculpture was shipped to the Freer Gallery on April 27, 1950; see "List of Objects Shipped to Freer Gallery of Art," dated April 27, 1950 on C. T. Loo, INC. letterhead, copy in object file. See also Loo's letter to Archibald Wenley, dated April 27, 1950, copy in object file.
    [6] See C. T. Loo, INC. invoice, dated June 25, 1952, copy in object file.
    [7] See invoice cited in note 6.
  • Collection

    Freer Gallery of Art Collection
  • Exhibition History

    Promise of Paradise (October 14, 2017 - ongoing)
    Promise of Paradise: Early Chinese Buddhist Sculpture (December 1, 2012 to January 3, 2016)
    Chinese Buddhist Sculpture in New Light (April 14, 2002 to September 8, 2003)
    Chinese Art—Stone Sculpture (September 1, 1979 to March 14, 1982)
    Chinese Art (January 1, 1963 to March 6, 1981)
    Centennial Exhibition, Gallery 17 (November 17, 1955 to January 1, 1963)
    Ausstellung Chinesischer Kunst (January 12 to April 2, 1929)
    Stone Sculpture, Gallery 17, 1923 (May 2, 1923 to November 17, 1955)
    Untitled Exhibition, Asian Sculpture, North Corridor (May 2, 1923 to October 28, 1955)
  • Previous custodian or owner

    Friedrich Perzynski (1877-1965)
    Paul Kempner (1889-1956)
    Edgar Worch (1880-1972)
    C.T. Loo & Company (1914-1948)
    C.T. Loo, INC. (ca. 1948-no later than July 1953)
  • Origin

    Gongxian Cave Temples, Cave 1, Henan province, China
  • Credit Line

    Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
  • Type

  • On View

    Freer Gallery 17: Promise of Paradise
  • Restrictions and Rights

    Usage Conditions Apply

    There are restrictions for re-using this media. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    The information presented on this website may be revised and updated at any time as ongoing research progresses or as otherwise warranted. Pending any such revisions and updates, information on this site may be incomplete or inaccurate or may contain typographical errors. Neither the Smithsonian nor its regents, officers, employees, or agents make any representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or timeliness of the information on the site. Use this site and the information provided on it subject to your own judgment. The National Museum of Asian Art welcomes information that would augment or clarify the ownership history of objects in their collections.

Keep Exploring