Head of an attendant bodhisattva


On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 206

Both the Eastern Wei (535–50) and the Northern Qi dynasties were ruled from a capital at Ye (presentday Linzhang) in southern Hebei province; both sponsored the construction of new cave temples. The complex built at Xiangtangshan (not far from the capital) dates from the Northern Qi period. It consists of two sites: the three enormous cave temples at the top of the mountain are known as Northern Xiangtangshan, while an additional seven smaller shrines, about nine miles to the south, are known as Southern Xiangtangshan. This head comes from the southern site, which was constructed slightly later.

Head of an attendant bodhisattva, Limestone with pigment, China

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