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Northern Wei Visual Analysis

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A Visual Analysis and Assessment of “Statue from the Northern Wei Dynasty” (362-532)

Visual Analysis:

This statue from the Northern Wei Dynasty was constructed from ceramic materials, such as clay, in the historical period of 362-532. The height of the object is stated as being 36.4 x 13.5 x 8.8 cm. The height of this object is the most dominant aspect of representation, which provides a primarily vertical form of the figure. In this manner, the slim appearance of the figure becomes the dominant shape in which to express anatomical features. For instance, the figure is shown in a long robe that extends down to the feet. More so, the arms of the figures are clearly defined far above the base of the statue. The facial features of the statue
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However, this sculpture from the northern Wei period is most likely from the later development of the Buddha that is presented as a Chinese scholar. This is one reason why this figure is dressed in a very long robe, as the sculptures of the later Northern Wei period tended to localize images of the Buddha in relation to the Chinese sage: “Figures were depicted dressed in long robes and a Sogdian cap.” This is an important feature of this statue, which may narrow down the exact timeline of this object. The museum’s website tends to provide a much broader range over a two-hundred year period, but this ceramic figure is most likely dated to the late 400s and early 500s B.C. The garments of the figure clearly provided insight into the Chinese depiction of the Buddha that shows a religious reverence for a higher power. More so, many figures of the Buddha show the typical Chinese garments worn by Chinese scholars during this time: “The Central Asian style of robes is seen on Buddha figures.” This is one reason why the figure is seen reaching for the sky and showing a ritual presence in this figural representation. This is an important aspect of this type of Chinese statuary, which represents a localized version of the Buddha posing as a Chinese…show more content…
In Chinese culture, many religious followers would have shrines throughout the community, but more importantly, within their own homes. In this manner, a small s[ace would be created in a shrine in which to show relics or statues of the Buddha. This statue may have been placed in a small opening in a shrine, so that the religious worshipper could observe the figure while in prayer or mediation. This tradition originated in Indian and was also utilized in Chinese culture during the Northern Wei
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