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Chinese cultural relics lost abroad (part 4)

2014-11-06 13:50:54



Offering process of the Emperor Xiaowen and the Empress Wenzhao and their court, the Northern Dynasty (386-534)


The sculptures are originally on the wall of Central Binyang Cave (also known as the third Cave) in the Longmen Grottoes, near Luoyang, Henan province. And then they were stolen by cave robbers. Now this sculpture of Emperor Xiaowen and his court and a companion piece showing the Empress Wenzhao and her attendants are respectively kept in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and Nelson-Atakins Museum of Art in Kansas of the United States.

The Emperor Xiaowen, wearing a crown and ceremonial dress, marches slowly with imperial guards leading the road, accompanied by officials and maids holding the canopies, long swords, pomanders and long tasseled baton. Likewise, the Empress Wenzhao wearing a lotus chaplet and embroidered official robe, holds an incense burner and walks against the wind towards the emperor. Several of the attendants hold lotuses or other flowers and offerings, and the entire procession can be understood as making offerings to the Buddha in the cave, an act of merit that would continue in perpetuity and improve the future lives of the participants.

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Chinese cultural relics lost overseas (part 1) Chinese cultural relics lost overseas (part 2) Chinese cultural relics lost overseas (part 3)
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Chinese cultural relics lost abroad (part 4)


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