Buddhist Niche

  • Excavated from the Fengxiansi Temple Site
  • Tang dynasty
  • Limestone
  • H-36.2 W-33
    Longmen Caves Research Institute
Catalogue Entry

Limestone/ Excavated from the Fengxiansi Temple Site, Tang dynasty/
H. 36.2 cm; W. 33.0 cm/ Longmen Caves Research Institute
This niche is thought to have originally depicted a triad of Buddhist images, with the central Buddha flanked on both sides by bodhisattva images, but today the upper section of the niche and the left third of the niche are missing and only the central Buddha and right attendant figure remain. Further, a crack extends from the right shoulder of the Buddha across the figure to the left hip, and the Buddha's left forearm and left thumb finger are also missing. The Buddha wears a large robe draped across both shoulders and the hem of the figure's drapery hangs over the front of the pedestal consisting of a semicircular bottom frame and pedestal pillar. The Buddha is seated with legs folded in padmasana pose. This attendant bodhisattva is in the so-called "three bend" pose, with right arm lowered and left arm bent at the elbow with forearm raised. The bodhisattva stands on the same pedestal form as the Buddha, namely a semicircular bottom frame and pedestal pillar. This niche was probably created around the beginning of the 8th century.