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Gallery Text

Merchants trading in Silk Road goods, South and Central Asian Buddhist proselytizers, and pilgrims who had traveled to India to study Buddhism at its source brought countless paintings, scriptures, and small bronze sculptures to China and Tibet. These later served as the inspirations for works commissioned by local patrons. Few early Chinese and Tibetan bronze sculptures, and even fewer Indian prototypes, survive, as later generations melted them down to make coins, weapons, or new icons. The fine statues on display here may have been objects of devotion that were set in portable shrines, like the Korean example in the case to the right, for worship in lay people’s homes.

Identification and Creation
Object Number
1943.53.88
Title
Kneeling Apsaras Playing a Harp
Classification
Sculpture
Work Type
sculpture, figurine
Date
first half 6th century
Places
Creation Place: East Asia, China
Period
Northern Wei (386-534) or Eastern Wei (534-550) period
Culture
Chinese
Persistent Link
https://hvrd.art/o/204077
Location
Level 1, Room 1610, Buddhist Sculpture, Buddhism and Early East Asian Buddhist Art
View this object's location on our interactive map
Physical Descriptions
Medium
Gilt bronze
Dimensions
H. 12.0 x W. 7.4 x D. 3.5 cm (4 3/4 x 2 15/16 x 1 3/8 in.)
Provenance
Grenville L. Winthrop, New York (by 1943), bequest; to Fogg Art Museum, 1943.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Bequest of Grenville L. Winthrop
Accession Year
1943
Object Number
1943.53.88
Division
Asian and Mediterranean Art
Contact
am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu
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Publication History

W. Chie Ishibashi, "East Asian Buddhist Bronzes: A Comparative Analytical Study and a Preliminary Report" (thesis (certificate in conservation), Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies, August 1977), Unpublished, passim

Exhibition History

S425a: Chinese Gilt Bronze Sculpture, Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, 10/20/1985 - 04/30/2008

Re-View: S228-230 Arts of Asia, Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, 05/31/2008 - 06/01/2013

32Q: 1610 Buddhist Art I, Harvard Art Museums, 11/16/2014 - 01/01/2050

Subjects and Contexts

Google Art Project

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be 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