Wall fragment with multiple Buddhas from the Longmen Grottoes

Historical period(s)
Tang dynasty, 7th-8th century
Medium
Limestone with traces of pigment
Dimensions
H x W x D (overall): 36 x 33.6 x 10 cm (14 3/16 x 13 1/4 x 3 15/16 in)
Geography
China, Henan province, Luoyang, Longmen Grottoes
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1911.421
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Sculpture, Stone
Type

Buddhist sculpture

Keywords
Buddha, Buddhism, China, Tang dynasty (618 - 907)
Provenance

To 1911
Unnamed owner at K'ai-feng Fu, Honan, China, to 1911 [1]

From 1911 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from an unnamed owner at K'ai-feng Fu, Honan, China, in 1911 [2]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [3]

Notes:

[1] See Original Miscellaneous List, S.I. 318, pg. 81, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.

[2] See note 1.

[3] The original deed of Charles Lang Freer's gift was signed in 1906. The collection was received in 1920 upon the completion of the Freer Gallery.

Previous Owner(s)

Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919

Label

This fragment came from the Longmen Buddhist cave-temple complex near Luoyang, Henan Province. Beginning in 493 and lasting almost four hundred years, Chinese imperial patronage at Longmen transformed the site into a richly endowed complex with over 2,300 caves and niches in cliff walls adorned with sculptures. In the early twentieth century some sculptures and fragments were removed from Longmen and entered the international antiquities market without proper identifications. Scholars today are trying to identify the original site of such objects.

This image is likely to depict a motif known as the Three Thousand Buddhas in which small images of nearly identical, seated Buddhas are lined up along register lines and used as complementary imagery to larger Buddhist sculptures.

Published References
  • Chang Qing. Search and Research: The Provenance of Longmen Images in the Freer Collection. vol. 34, no. 5 Hong Kong, May 2003. p. 18, fig. 3.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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