Throckmorton Fine Art is pleased to offer an exhibit of thirty-one, early Chinese Buddhist sculptures. These works of art are rare survivors of Buddhist purges in the past; many were buried for centuries. They have been carefully cleaned, revealing their sublime beauty and refined elegance. Each piece has been carefully studied by Chinese scholars, with photographs and analyses included in an accompanying catalogue prepared under the guidance of Dr. Qing Chang and Dr. Elizabeth Childs-Johnson.
This monumental group, collected over the past twelve years, suggests the diversity of Chinese Buddhist sculptures from the Northern Wei through the Tang and Song eras, and thus from the sixth through the twelfth centuries. All of the pieces attest to the patience and skill of Chinese artisans. The scale of the figures varies-many are monumental, others more intimate. The material employed includes limestone, sandstone, and white marble. Marble images are particularly important in Buddhist sculpture. Marble was known as “white stone,” with white symbolizing the color of purity, and as a consequence was held to be precious and favored for imperial Buddhist rituals. The exhibit features outstanding examples of marble Buddhist figures.
Other notable images include a sandstone Buddha seated on a lotus supported by a cylinder of winged horses. Taken together, the sculptures in the exhibit allow for a comparison of the changing portrayal of Buddhism, and Buddhist deities, in Chinese culture. One example is the evolution of the bodhisattva’s tiara-style crown. What begins as a simple three-pronged lotus of the sixth century becomes a flamboyant, multi-tiered and multi-layered crown by the twelfth century.
Individually and collectively, the Buddhist sculptures transcend time (and belief systems); they radiate peace and harmony, and invite contemplation. This exhibit is not to be missed-it is unlikely to ever be matched in quality and depth.
Tuesday - Saturday
From 11am to 5pm
- China, Head and Torso of a Buddha, Northern Qi Period, 550-577 CE, Marble, Height: 17 inches, Cat#20
- China, Standing Bodhisattva, Eastern Wei Period / Northern Qi Period, 534-577 CE, Marble , Height: 30 inches, Cat#6
- China, Head and Torso of a Buddha, 550-577 CE, Marble, Height: 19 inches, Cat#19
- China, Head and Torso of a Bodhisattva, Northern Qi Period, 550-577 CE, Limestone, Height: 29 inches, Cat#15
- China, Head of a Buddha, Northern Qi Period / Sui Period, 550-618 CE, Marble, Height: 12 inches, Cat#13
- China, Head and Torso of a Bodhisattva, Northern Qi Period / Northern Zhou Period, 550-581 CE, Limestone, Height: 24 1/2 inches, Cat#17