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. The motif depicted on this brick represents the historical event of Buddha during his last illness, about to enter the parinirvana, which is the after-death for one who has been able to attain Nirvana during their life. Thus liberating themselves from the Samsara, the endless rebirth cycle.
Chinese Northern Wei Reclining Buddha Brick
A finely moulded Chinese grey pottery tile, featuring the depiction of a reclining Buddha, dating from the Northern Wei Dynasty Period. The brick features a rectangular full body portrait containing the depiction of a reclining Buddha dressed in an opulent robe. One arm is supporting his head and the other rested along his side, his feet are neatly stacked one on top of the other. The Buddha’s hair is styled into a ushnisha, a high bun, coloured in black pigment. His robes feature many creases and folds, painted in vibrant red and displays green coloured rims. Facial features, such as the eyes and eyebrows portray a deeply calm, contemplative expression and are rendered through delicate streaks of black paint, while the lips are painted in bright red.
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Period: Northern Wei Dynasty
Condition: Very fine condition, intact, much of the original pigmentation still visible.