Object Image

Offering Procession of the Empress as Donor with Her Court

At Longmen, following the immediate precedent of Yungang, a great series of cave chapels were cut into the living rock of a long, high limestone cliff. The Binyang cave, from which this relief comes, was finished in 523 under imperial patronage. The emperor and his retinue were shown in a similar relief carved inside the cave to the proper left of the door. The empress and her attendants occupied the right side of the door. They are concrete expressions of the devotion of the Northern Wei court to Buddhism. The reliefs are intended to be taken as permanent memorials of the emperor and empress in an act of worshipful donation to the image of Buddha, which was carved at the opposite end of the ca...

c. 522 C.E.
Fine, dark-gray limestone
80.0 x 109.5in
Image and text: The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, 2023

Where you'll find this

Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
Permanent collection

Deepen your knowledge