J.J. Lally & Co., Oriental Art / New York City, New York

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Current Exhibition

Buddhist Sculpture from Ancient China

March 10-31, 2017

A LIMESTONE BLOCK WITH DANCER IN A NICHE
16.
A LIMESTONE BLOCK WITH DANCER IN A NICHE

Tang Dynasty, 8th Century

the celestial nymph shown in a lively dancing pose with a peaceful expression on her face, as if entranced by divine music, wearing a pleated dhoti tied around her swaying hips and a knotted sash across her chest, twirling with one foot resting on a large lotus blossom and the other foot kicked back, her arms extended and draped with long scarves loosely curled behind her back and swirling out to either side gracefully filling the background of the deep niche with bracket-lobed arch at the top, the wide flat frame around the niche finely incised with cloud scrolls populated with fantastic beasts and a bird man playing a set of pipes, the surface of the grayish-white stone partially obscured by encrusted earth on the front, the back and sides roughly hewn.

Width 20 12 x Height 18 x Depth 10 inches (52 x 45.7 x 25.4 cm)

Provenance
From the Collection of Ronald W. Longsdorf, Columbus, Ohio

A very similar Tang dynasty limestone block carved in relief with a celestial musician in a deep niche of the same distinctive shape is illustrated in a monograph by Mizuno, Chinese Stone Sculpture, Mayuyama & Co., Tokyo, 1950, pl. 35, with description on pp. 27-28.

Compare also the Tang dynasty limestone block carved with a seated Buddha in a niche with finely incised figural decoration on the surrounding frame illustrated in Ōsaka shiritsu bijutsukan shozō sakuhinsen (Selected Works from Osaka Municipal Museum of Art), Osaka, 2006, pp. 108-109, no. 44, with a comment by the author translated as “There are several known examples with similar features, with one example said to have been found in the Kaiyuan temple in Xi’an, Shaanxi province, the site of Chang’an, the capital of the Tang dynasty. Given that reference, it is possible that this niche also originated in the same region.”

唐 白石舞伎龕 寬 52 高 45.7 深 25.4 厘米

出處 Longsdorf 舊藏,哥倫布,俄亥俄州

Additional Images (Touch to enlarge)

16.
A LIMESTONE BLOCK WITH DANCER IN A NICHE

Tang Dynasty, 8th Century

Width 20 12 x Height 18 x Depth 10 inches (52 x 45.7 x 25.4 cm)

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