Votive stele - Buddha and two Bodhisattvas3D Model
Buddhist votive stele with Buddha and two Bodhisattvas, 678 CE, now at Mia.
‘This stone stele depicts the Buddha sitting on a lotus throne, flanked by a pair of bodhisattvas. His left hand is raised in abhaya mudra (gesture of dispelling fear), and the right is resting on his knee. The figures in this stele illustrate the vivid and naturalistic qualities that are characteristic of Buddhist icons of the Tang dynasty … The inscription tells us that the stele was commissioned during the reign of Emperor Gaozong in 678, and remarkably lists both the Emperor and the Empress, Wu, as beneficiaries. It was highly unusual for an empress to be included in this way prior to this time, proving her rising power before ultimately becoming the most powerful woman in the Tang dynasty when she became the de facto ruler of China in 690.’
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