Frontal from the base of a funerary couch with Sogdian musicians and dancers and Buddhist divinities

citation

Historical period(s)
Northern Qi dynasty, Period of Division, Northern Qi dynasty, 550-577
Medium
Grey marble with traces of pigment
Dimensions
H x W x D: 60.3 x 234 x 23.5 cm (23 3/4 x 92 1/8 x 9 1/4 in)
Geography
China, Henan province, Probably Ce xian
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Accession Number
F1915.110
On View Location
Freer Gallery 16: Center of the World: China and the Silk Road
Classification(s)
Sculpture, Stone
Type

Buddhist sculpture

Keywords
China, dance, funerary, musician, Northern dynasties (386 - 581), Northern Qi dynasty (550 - 577), Period of Division (220 - 589), relief
Provenance

To 1915
Lai-Yuan and Company, New York to 1915 [1]

From 1915 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Lai-Yuan and Company in 1915 [2]

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

Notes:

[1] See Original Miscellaneous List, S.I. 684, pg. 164, 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
Lai-Yuan and Company (C.L. Freer source)

Label

This is the front of a funerary couch, or platform, that supported a coffin. Scholars suggest it was made for Cave 4 at northern Xiangtangshan; it was rare, however, for a Buddhist cave to serve as a burial place. The couch is also unusual for its combination of Persian and Chinese elements. In the center, the censer topped by a bird and flanked by heavenly beings is a typical Chinese Buddhist image. The musicians and dancers in the pearl-encircled roundels represent secular Central Asian entertainers depicted in a Persian style.

Published References
  • Thomas Lawton Linda Merrill. Freer: a legacy of art. Washington and New York, 1993. p. 223, fig. 156.
  • Dr. John Alexander Pope, Thomas Lawton, Harold P. Stern. The Freer Gallery of Art. 2 vols., Washington and Tokyo, 1971-1972. cat. 76, p. 172.
  • Masterpieces of Chinese and Japanese Art: Freer Gallery of Art handbook. Washington, 1976. p. 39.
  • Sigisbert Chr├ętien Bosch Reitz. Catalogue of an Exhibition of Early Chinese Pottery and Sculpture. Exh. cat. New York. pl. 330.
  • Osvald Siren. Chinese Sculpture from the Fifth to the Fourteenth Century: Over 900 Specimens in Stone, Bronze, Lacquer and Wood, Principally from Northern China. 4 vols., London. pl. 444-445.
  • Laurence Sickman Alexander Coburn Soper. The Art and Architecture of China. The Pelican History of Art London and Baltimore. pl. 40-41.
  • Gustina Scaglia. Central Asians on a Northern Ch'i Gate Shrine. vol. 21, no. 1 Washington and Zurich. p. 11, fig. 1.
  • Mizuno Seiichi. Bronze and Stone Sculpture of China: From the Yin to the Tang dynasty. Tokyo. pls. 70-71.
  • Sekai bijutsu zenshu (A Complete Collection of World Art). 40 vols., Tokyo, 1960-1966. pl. 6.
  • Emma Bunker. The Spirit Kings in Sixth Century Chinese Buddhist Sculpture. vol. 18 Honolulu. p. 33, fig. 19.
  • Chugoku bijutsu (Chinese Art in Western Collections). 5 vols., Tokyo, 1972-1973. pl. 51.
  • Mrs. Hin-cheung Lovell. Some Northern Chinese Wares of the Sixth and Seventh Centuries. vol. 21, no. 4, Winter 1975. pp. 328-343, fig. 31.
  • Thomas Lawton. China's Artistic Legacy. vol. 118, no. 258 London, August 1983. p. 132.
  • Sascha Priewe. Das Zhangdefu-Sargbett; Grundlegende Fragen Erneut Gestellt (Re-examination of a Sogdian Funerary Bed). vol. 17 Berlin. pp. 15-24.
  • Museum fur Ostasiatische Kunst. Buddhistische plastik aus China and Japan. Exh. cat. Cologne. p. 279.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum

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