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)

Lai-Yuan and Company (C.L. Freer source)
Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919

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

Copyright with museum

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