Smithsonian Freer Gallery Sackler Gallery National Museum of Asian Art Gallery Guide Art of Buddhism
Carved of dark gray limestone, this imposing Buddha head is characterized by a serene yet remote expression that is typical of early Tang dynasty religious images. Imperial patronage of Buddhism during the Tang dynasty, approximately seven hundred years after knowledge of Buddhism first reached China, resulted in the creation of some of the most impressive sculptures in Chinese history. For this Buddha head, all traces of Indian and Central Asian influence have been replaced by a native Chinese aesthetic. Sculptures of this style are found in the Longmen cave temples in Henan Province and may have been the source for this piece.

Head of a Buddha
Chinese Buddha head
China, Tang dynasty, 7th century
limestone
Gift of the Arthur M. Sackler Foundation S1997.26
The Arthur M. Sackler Gallery and the Freer Gallery of Art
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