© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Gallery Text

This figure’s high chignon and the locks of hair tumbling over his shoulders, in combination with his benevolent countenance, silken scarves, and abundant jewelry, identify him as a bodhisattva. Fragmentary elements of figures to the right and left indicate that he was originally part of a group arrayed around a more exalted deity. His frontal presentation, black (as opposed to blue) hair, and lack of a halo reveal that he is a lesser bodhisattva, not one of the elevated, named bodhisattvas that would have appeared near the center of the original composition, facing and proximate to the central buddha. Indeed, this figure was once a part of the same entourage of figures in which the Kneeling Attendant Holding a Triple Jewel (1924.41), at left, was originally placed.

Identification and Creation
Object Number
1924.42
Title
Bust of Bodhisattva (from the north wall of Mogao Cave 329 at Dunhuang, Gansu province)
Classification
Paintings
Work Type
mural painting
Date
7th century
Places
Creation Place: East Asia, China, Gansu province, Dunhuang
Period
Tang dynasty, 618-907
Culture
Chinese
Location
Level 2, Room 2740, Buddhist Art, The Efflorescence of East Asian and Buddhist Art
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Physical Descriptions
Medium
Section of a wall painting; polychromy on unfired clay
Dimensions
painting proper (irregular): H. 34.7 x W. 21.3 cm (13 11/16 x 8 3/8 in.)
framed: H. 73.5 x W. 53.5 x D. 3.5 cm (28 15/16 x 21 1/16 x 1 3/8 in.)
Provenance
From Mogao Cave 329, Dunhuang, Gansu province; acquired during the First Fogg Expedition to China (1923-24) led by Langdon Warner (1881-1955)
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, First Fogg Expedition to China (1923-1924)
Accession Year
1924
Object Number
1924.42
Division
Asian and Mediterranean Art
Contact
am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu
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Publication History

Sanchita Balachandran, "Research into the Collecting and Conservation History of Chinese Wall Paintings from Dunhuang in the Harvard University Art Museums" (thesis (certificate in conservation), Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies, 2004), Unpublished, passim

Exhibition History

32Q: 2740 Buddhist II, Harvard Art Museums, 11/01/2014

Subjects and Contexts

Google Art Project

This record was created from historic documentation and may not have been reviewed by a curator; it may be inaccurate or incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art at am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu