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Ben Janssens Oriental Art

Limestone head of a bodhisattva
China, Northern Qi dynasty, 550 - 577 AD
Height: 10 inches, 25 1/2 cm

A limestone head of a bodhisattva, the face with arched eyebrows, strong, aquiline nose above cupid-bow lips, and heavy-lidded, downcast eyes. The well-defined ears have prominent lobes. An elaborate two-tiered tiara-like headdress crowns the bodhisattva’s plain hairdo. It incorporates three large and two small shield-shaped plaques with beaded edges. Four decorative strands sprout from the two smaller plaques. The top tier of the tiara features three roundels, two of which are damaged; the third is decorated with a flower head. The crown is fastened at the back of the head by ribbons, tied in a simple knot. On either side of the head, ribbons fan out in elaborate bows. The grey limestone is weathered in places.

all text & images © Ben Janssens Oriental Art

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