The Bodhisattva Mile (Sanskrit Maitreya), seated in “Pensive Pose”

citation

Historical period(s)
Northern Qi dynasty, ca. 575
Medium
Marble with traces of pigment and gesso
Dimensions
H x W x D: 33 x 17.5 x 15.4 cm (13 x 6 7/8 x 6 1/16 in)
Geography
China
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Accession Number
F1911.411
On View Location
Sackler Gallery 22: Encountering the Buddha
Classification(s)
Sculpture, Stone
Type

Buddhist sculpture

Keywords
Buddhism, child, China, halo, lotus, Maitreya Buddha, meditation, Northern Qi dynasty (550 - 577), reincarnation, ushnisha
Provenance

To 1911
Ta Ge Shang, Beijing, to 1911 [1]

From 1911 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Ta Ge Shang 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. 308, pg. 76, 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
Ta Ge Shang (C.L. Freer source)

Label

This sculpture of a bodhisattva, or enlightened being, probably represents the Buddha of the Future (Maitreya in the Indian language Sanskrit) while he was waiting to be reborn into the world as a Buddha. Maitreya waits in heaven meditating beneath a Dragon Tree, which Chinese sculptors typically interpreted to be a ginkgo, like the tree here. The depiction of children emerging from lotuses in a pond on the base of this sculpture is a rare detail on an image of Maitreya.

Published References
  • Thomas Lawton Linda Merrill. Freer: a legacy of art. Washington and New York, 1993. p. 222, fig. 154.
  • Dr. John Alexander Pope, Thomas Lawton, Harold P. Stern. The Freer Gallery of Art. 2 vols., Washington and Tokyo, 1971-1972. cat. 75, p. 171.
  • Sherman Lee. The Freer's Studies in Connoisseurship (Review): Museum News. vol. 44, no. 1 New York, Spring 1984. pp. 68-69, fig. 8.
  • Denise Patry Leidy. The Art of Buddhism: An Introduction to its History & Meaning., First edition. Boston. p. 88.
  • Langdon Warner. The Freer Gift of Eastern Art to America. vol. 23, no. 8 New York, August. pp. 590-594.
  • Sir Leigh Ashton. An Introduction to the Study of Chinese Sculpture. London. pl. 20.
  • Sigisbert Chr├ętien Bosch Reitz. Catalogue of an Exhibition of Early Chinese Pottery and Sculpture. Exh. cat. New York. fig. 322.
  • Miura Hidenosuke. To-so seikwa (Selected Relics of T'ang and Sung Dynasties from Collections in Europe and America). Osaka, 1928-1929. pl. 13.
  • Mizuno Seiichi. Bronze and Stone Sculpture of China: From the Yin to the Tang dynasty. Tokyo. pl. 65.
  • Chugoku bijutsu (Chinese Art in Western Collections). 5 vols., Tokyo, 1972-1973. pl. 40.
  • Jung Hee Lee. The Contemplating Bodhisattva Images of Asia, with Special Emphasis on China and Korea. Ann Arbor. pl. 67.
  • Abingdon Dictionary of Living Religions. Nashville. p. 112.
  • Denise Patry Leidy. The Ssu-wei Figure in Sixth century A.D. Chinese Buddhist Sculpture. vol. XLIII. p. 24, fig. 4.
  • pp. 42-43.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum