Wall fragment with multiple Buddhas from the Longmen Grottoes

Historical period(s)
Tang dynasty, 7th-8th century
Limestone with traces of pigment
H x W x D (overall): 36 x 33.6 x 10 cm (14 3/16 x 13 1/4 x 3 15/16 in)
China, Henan province, Luoyang, Longmen Grottoes
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Sculpture, Stone

Buddhist sculpture

Buddha, Buddhism, China, Tang dynasty (618 - 907)

To 1911
Unnamed owner at K'ai-feng Fu, Honan, China, to 1911 [1]

From 1911 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from an unnamed owner at K'ai-feng Fu, Honan, China, in 1911 [2]

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


[1] See Original Miscellaneous List, S.I. 318, pg. 81, 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.

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919


This fragment came from the Longmen Buddhist cave-temple complex near Luoyang, Henan Province. Beginning in 493 and lasting almost four hundred years, Chinese imperial patronage at Longmen transformed the site into a richly endowed complex with over 2,300 caves and niches in cliff walls adorned with sculptures. In the early twentieth century some sculptures and fragments were removed from Longmen and entered the international antiquities market without proper identifications. Scholars today are trying to identify the original site of such objects.

This image is likely to depict a motif known as the Three Thousand Buddhas in which small images of nearly identical, seated Buddhas are lined up along register lines and used as complementary imagery to larger Buddhist sculptures.

Published References
  • Chang Qing. Search and Research: The Provenance of Longmen Images in the Freer Collection. vol. 34, no. 5 Hong Kong, May 2003. p. 18, fig. 3.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
SI Usage Statement

Usage Conditions Apply

There are restrictions for re-using this image. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

The information presented on this website may be revised and updated at any time as ongoing research progresses or as otherwise warranted. Pending any such revisions and updates, information on this site may be incomplete or inaccurate or may contain typographical errors. Neither the Smithsonian nor its regents, officers, employees, or agents make any representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or timeliness of the information on the site. Use this site and the information provided on it subject to your own judgment. The Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery welcome information that would augment or clarify the ownership history of objects in their collections.