This jade book is composed of pale green jade tablets engraved with an essay by the Qianlong emperor commemorating the completion of the Seven Buddhas Pagoda in the imperial garden. The text is carved in regular script calligraphy and filled with gold. Paired with the tablets are black paper pages, which bear the same text written in gold ink. This superb work not only exemplifies Emperor Qianlong’s particular fondness for jade and taste for lavish display but also reveals the Qing court’s partiality to Tibetan Buddhism over other contemporary religions.
This artwork is meant to be viewed from right to left. Scroll left to view more.