This work is on view.
China: Northern Qi Dynasty (550-577 CE)
- Dimensions (H x W x D)
37 1/2 in x 10 1/4 in x 4 1/2 in
- Collection Area
- Object Type
- Credit Line
Museum Purchase: Ella M. Hirsch Fund
- Accession Number
In Buddhism, a bodhisattva (wisdom being) is one who has attained enlightenment but postpones nirvana (final extinction) in order to help others. Bodhisattvas appear in the form of the young Siddhartha as a prince in ancient India, wearing elaborate jewelry and a dhoti, a skirt-like garment draped at the waist.
This figure dates from the Northern Qi dynasty (550–557), making it contemporary with the large Buddha head on view nearby (51.255). Sculpture from this period reveals a nascent movement toward realism, as the body begins to emerge from an erect, columnar form, with low relief carving to delineate musculature, garments, and jewelry. Polychrome painting, now completely worn away, enhanced the lifelike effect.