Standing Bodhisattva

Historical period(s)
Northern Qi dynasty, 550-577
Limestone with traces of pigment
H x W x D (overall): 172.5 x 51.8 x 42.9 cm (67 15/16 x 20 3/8 x 16 7/8 in)
China, Hebei province, Fengfeng, southern Xiangtangshan, Cave 2
Credit Line
Gift of Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Freer Gallery 17: Promise of Paradise
Sculpture, Stone


bodhisattva, Buddhism, cave, China, lotus, Northern Qi dynasty (550 - 577), temple

Originally located in Cave 2, southern Xiangtangshan, Hebei province, China. [1]

Charles Vignier (1863-1934), Paris and C. T. Loo (1880-1957), Paris, in April 1914. [2]

From at least 1916 to 1968
Eugene Meyer (1875-1959) and Agnes E. Meyer (1887-1970), New York, Washington, DC, and Mt. Kisco, NY, purchased from C. T. Loo, not later than March 13, 1916. [3]

From 1968
Freer Gallery of Art, given by Agnes E. Meyer in 1968. [4]


[1] The removal of the sculpted figures and fragments from the Xiangtangshan caves began ca. 1909 at the time of political upheaval in China and continued throughout several decades, see, accessed on August 2010. See also J. Keith Wilson and Daisy Yiyou Wang, "The Early-Twentieth-Century 'Discovery' of the Xiangtangshan Caves," in Katherine R. Tsiang et al., Echoes of the Past: The Buddhist Cave Temples of Xiangtangshan, exh. cat. (Chicago: Smart Museum of Art; Washington, DC: Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, 2010), pp. 106-129 and Katherine R. Tsiang and J. Keith Wilson, "Catalogue of Works in the Exhibition," in Katherine R. Tsiang et al., Echoes of the Past: The Buddhist Cave Temples of Xiangtangshan, 2010, pp. 208-209, cat. no. 22 (ill.).

[2] The sculpture was published in April 1914 as owned by Charles Vignier, a symbolist poet, dealer, and collector, see "Early Chinese Sculpture," The Burlington Magazine for Connoisseurs vol. 25, no. 133 (April 1914), pp. 40, 43 (pl. 2, D). C. T. Loo shared with Vignier the ownership of this and other Xiangtangshan sculptures published in the Burlington Magazine article. According to Loo, it was his Beijing office that secured the sculptures in China, see C. T. Loo, "Preface" in C. T. Loo and Co., An Exhibition of Chinese Stone Sculptures (New York: C. T. Loo and Co., 1940), np. See also J. Keith Wilson and Daisy Yiyou Wang 2010, pp. 107-108.

[3] See Eugene Meyer’s letter to S. C. Bosch-Reitz, dated March 13, 1916, Metropolitan Museum of Art Archives, New York. In the letter, Meyer stated that he had acquired the sculpture recently and offered to loan it to the Metropolitan Museum. See also Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin vol. 11, no. 5 (May 1916), p. 120-121 and C. T. Loo, "Preface" in C. T. Loo and Co. 1940. The sculpture was returned to the Meyers probably by the end of 1916; the Meyers lent it again to the Metropolitan Museum from 1923 to 1934. See correspondence between Agnes E. Meyer and S. C. Bosch-Reitz, September 1923 and correspondence between Agnes E. Meyer and H. E. Winlock, November 1934, Metropolitan Museum of Art Archives. The sculpture was published in Osvald Sirén, Chinese Sculpture From the Fifth to the Fourteenth Century (London: Benn, Ltd., 1925), vol. 1, p. 129, vol. 4, pl. 472.

[4] See Agnes E. Meyer's Deed of Gift, dated July 24, 1967, where the sculpture is listed as no. 29 in the document's Annex, copy in object file. The object was accessioned to the Freer Gallery's collection in 1968.

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

Charles Vignier 1863-1934
Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer (1875-1959) and (1887-1970)
C.T. Loo 1880-1957
Agnes E. Meyer 1887-1970

Published References
  • William Watson. The Art of Dynastic China. New York, 1981. cat. 386.
  • Osvald Siren. Chinese Sculpture from the Fifth to the Fourteenth Century: Over 900 Specimens in Stone, Bronze, Lacquer and Wood, Principally from Northern China. 4 vols., London. pl. 472.
  • A Loan Exhibition of Chinese Art. Exh. cat. Detroit. fig. 70.
  • Horace H.F. Jayne. The Chinese Collections of the University Museum: A Handbook of the Principal Objects. Philadelphia, PA. p. 23.
  • Thomas Lawton. Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Memorial Exhibition. Exh. cat. Washington, 1971. cat. 45, pp. 34-35.
  • Paths to Perfection, Buddhist Art at the Freer/Sackler. Washington. pp. 74-75.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
CC0 - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

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