Dedicatory Inscription by Yuwen Zhong
Dedicatory Inscription by Yuwen Zhong
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Dedicatory Inscription by Yuwen Zhong

This dedicatory stele was erected in the hope to salvage the dead and bring them to better afterlife.  The devotee, Yuwen Zhong, was a royal decedent of the Northern Zhou dynasty, who pledged to transfer the merits accumulated from erecting these steles to his dead father and brothers. 
These steles are small in size but rather exquisite, with images of Buddha in different themes on the four sides.  No reference is made in the inscriptions about the monuments erected.  The image in the upper register on the back side of the stele is a portrayal of nine dragons showering the body of Prince Siddhartha, while the image in the top left-hand corner depicts the image of a Prince sitting contemplatively in the half-lotus position.  The other images are unfortunately unidentifiable, but are believed to originate from Buddhist sutras that were popular during the North Zhou era.  
Item No.
59×67 cm
Formerly a personal collection of Chen Jieqi from Weixian, Shandong

造像碑十分小巧卻不失精美,四面刻有主題不同的佛像。題記完全不提造像內容,但是從圖像來看,碑陰上段表現佛傳故事「九龍吐水」沐浴釋迦太子,碑左側上段為「半跏思惟太子」像; 其他龕像尊名則難以推敲。這群名稱未知的龕像應是源自多種經典且流行於北周時期的信仰表現。

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