Rubbing from the pagoda at Mt. Ch'i-hsia, NankingArtist(s)ChineseArtist NationalityChinese (culture or style)Object Creation Date20th centuryMedium & Supportink on paperDimensions
28 5/8 in. x 42 1/16 in. ( 72.7 cm x 106.8 cm )Credit LineGift of Willard A. and Marybelle Bouchard HannaLabel copy
The walls of the octagonal stone pagoda at Mt. Qixia in southern China are carved in shallow relief with eight large Buddhist didactic scenes. Animals and plants play important roles in these images, to organize the composition, to help identify the cast of characters, and to add to the expressive effect. This example depicts three separate events.
At center we see the milkmaid Sujata—identified in part by the two oxen at the left—offering the historical Buddha Sakyamuni a bowl of sweet milk. It was the meal he took to break away from six years of extreme asceticism, and his final nourishment before entering forty-nine days of meditation, when he would achieve enlightenment and become a Buddha. The Buddha is shown as already meditating, seated on a throne with a flaming mandorla. Two supernatural trees set this most sacred narrative moment apart from the rest of the composition.
Maribeth Graybill, Senior Curator of Asian Art
Exhibited in "Flora and Fauna in Chinese Art," April 6, 2002 - December 1, 2002.Primary Object Classification Rubbing Primary Object Typeworks on paperCollection AreaAsianRights
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