Buddha with radiate halo and mandorla

China (Xinjiang Autonomous Region, Turfan area)

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 236

This portable shrine from the northern branch of the Central Asian Silk Road was probably the centerpiece of a three-part traveling shrine—a small triptych with doors. Two donors on the base venerate what appears to be a pot overflowing with vegetation. Such shrines for personal devotion traveled with merchants and pilgrims. While the Buddha, especially his hairstyle, can be related to Chinese imagery, the overall presentation of the figure and the combined halo and mandorla show connections to the Afghan and Gandharan visual tradition (see 48.66a, b).

Buddha with radiate halo and mandorla, Juniper wood with traces of color and gold, China (Xinjiang Autonomous Region, Turfan area)

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