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Stele with the Bodhisattvas Avalokiteshvara (Guanyin) and Mahasthamaprapta (Dashizi)

Period:
Tang dynasty (618–907)
Date:
mid- to late 7th century
Culture:
China (Henan province)
Medium:
Limestone with traces of pigment
Dimensions:
H. 64 1/2 in. (163.8 cm); W. 35 3/4 in. (90.8 cm); D. 12 3/4 in. (32.4 cm)
Classification:
Sculpture
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1930
Accession Number:
30.122
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 207
The two bodhisattvas seen here can be identified by the symbols on their headdresses: the figure on the right is Avalokiteshvara (as indicated by the presence of a small Buddha), and the figure on the left, wearing the symbol of a vase, is Mahasthamaprapta. The latter bodhisattva, who represents wisdom, is not found as an independent icon in Buddhist texts and art. Instead, he is usually part of a triad that includes both Avalokiteshvara and the Buddha Amitabha, who is one of the three Buddhas represented on the reverse of this stele; it seems likely that the two bodhisattvas were meant to serve as their attendants.
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