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3/4 profile: Lateral stretcher from the base of a funerary couch with Sogdian musicians and a dancer profile: Lateral stretcher from the base of a funerary couch with Sogdian musicians and a dancer

one of set: 7576 one of set: 7577

Lateral stretcher from the base of a funerary couch with Sogdian musicians and a dancer

Buddhist sculpture
Historical period(s)
Period of Division, Northern Qi dynasty, 550-577
Grey marble with traces of pigment
H x W x D: 19.7 x 95.3 x 16.5 cm (7 3/4 x 37 1/2 x 6 1/2 in)
China, Henan province, Probably Ce Xian
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
The Central Asian musicians and dancer, possibly of the Sogdian culture group, depicted on these panels attest to the international character of the Northern Qi dynasty, established in China in 550 following military conquest by people of Turkic origins. Musicians traveling the Silk Route introduced new instruments, such as harps and the bent-neck lute, which some scholars associate with the Persian barbat. The foreign lute influenced the development of the modern pipa, a lyrical Chinese lute now popular in chamber ensembles.

These stone carvings once belonged to a stone platform that was made to support the coffin of a Northern Qi dignitary. Inverted lotus petals are a motif frequently seen in images associated with Buddhism, the faith of the Northern Qi rulers-form the border.

To 1915
Lai-Yuan and Company, New York, to 1915 [1]

From 1915 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Lai-Yuan and Company in 1915 [2]

From 1920
The Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [3]


[1] See Original Miscellaneous List, S.I. 683, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.

[2] See note 1.

[3] The original deed of Charles Lang Freer's gift was signed in 1906. The collection was received in 1920 upon the completion of the Freer Gallery.

Former owner
Lai-Yuan and Company 來遠公司 (C.L. Freer source)
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919)
On View Location
Currently not on view
Sculpture, Stone
Buddhism, China, funerary, Northern Qi dynasty (550 - 577), Period of Division (220 - 589), pipa
Collection(s) Area
Chinese Art
Web Resource(s)
Google Cultural Institute

Rights Statement
Copyright with museum

As renovation work continues in the Freer Gallery, the Sackler Gallery also will close on July 10, 2017. This museum-wide closure will allow us to completely reinstall our exhibitions and revitalize features to improve your visit. Both spaces will reopen on October 14, 2017, when we will welcome the public back to the Freer|Sackler: two galleries, one destination. For your safety, all visitors will have their bags checked. See the complete list of restricted items and bag sizes.