It was during the Northern Wei dynasty that Buddhism was introduced to China – an introduction which rooted itself firmly in the cultural fabric of China. Over 30,000 Buddhist images dating from the Northern Wei dynasty have been found to date. Furthermore, the Northern Wei reform contributed greatly to an amalgamation of art and culture in sixth-century China. This was manifested in painting, calligraphy, the funerary and decorative arts, and in the style of the cave-temples at Longmen in Henan Province.
Chinese Northern Wei Brick with Four Seated Buddhas
A finely moulded Chinese rectangular ceramic brick with four ogival arched scenes running horizontally, each containing a seated Buddha figure, dating from the Northern Wei Dynasty. The Buddhas, rendered in high-relief, are depicted seated on top of green pedestals decorated with incisions. Draped in opulent red coloured robes which feature cascading drops and folds, each figure is seated against a beautiful cobalt blue coloured vesica aureola. The figures display a face unique in character and expression, with features rendered through delicate streaks of black paint, while the lips are painted in bright red.
Period: Northern Wei Dynasty
Condition: Fine condition, some chipping to the sides, much of the original pigmentation still visible. Some encrustation covers part of the fourth Buddha.