Head of a Bodhisattva
Tang dynasty (618–907)
Sandstone with pigment
H. 15 3/4 in. (40 cm); W. 8 in. (20.3 cm); D. 7 1/2 in. (19.1 cm)
Gift of Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, 1942
This head once belonged to an attendant bodhisattva, which had been carved into the back wall of Cave 21 at Tianlongshan, a small complex consisting of twenty-four cave shrines and a wooden temple. Located about forty kilometers southwest of Taiyuan, in Shanxi province, Tianlongshan opened in the mid-sixth century and was revived in the early eighth century. The history of the site is recorded on a large stone stele, erected in 706 by a General Xun and his wife, who were visiting the site at that time. Xun, who may have been of Korean origin, was a vice commander in the Tianping army and was stationed at Taiyuan, not far from the Tianlongshan complex.
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