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Buddhist stele

Buddhist stele

9th year of Tianbao (560). Northern Qi Dynasty (550 – 577)
Stone
H : 132 cm L : 60 cm D : 26-28 cm
M.C.8763 a

 

The meeting between Mañjuśrī (Wenshu) and the sage Vimalakīrti (Weimoqi), an illustration from the Vimalakīrtinirdeśasūtra, is shown in the first part of this stele. Two scenes of sermons take up the rest of the main façade. The shape of the arcature above the sermon scene, characterised by a central lance-like gable, supports the hypothesis that the same theme is illustrated in two additional episodes. The sermon on Vulture’s Peak in the Lotus Sutra, one of the fundamental texts of Mahāyāna, constitutes the most plausible hypothesis.

On the left side of the stele, Sākyamuni (Shijiamouni) and Prabhūtaratna (Dabao), within a marvellous stūpa, illustrate Chapter XI of the same text. Underneath, a small relief shows a meditating Buddha. On the right side, two narrative scenes are shown, above the departure of the horse Kanthaka to the future Sākyamuni, and underneath a mysterious episode in which children pay homage to the Buddha (conversion of the children of the Sākya?). On the back, above, a small panel presents a Buddha surrounded by two monks. It lies above the list of names of people to whom the work is dedicated. Although the front face of the stele, the right side and the three splendid dragons on the upper part represent some of the Northern Qi’s best art, the craftsmanship on the back and left side is disappointing.

Auteur de la notice : Gilles Béguin
Collection : The Three Kingdoms and Six Dynasties period
Mode d'acquisition : Donation of Marie-Madeleine Wannieck, 1956
  • Stèle bouddhique

Stèle bouddhique
© Musée Cernuschi