An exquisitely sculpted grey basalt torso of a
Bodhisattva (‘enlightened being’) standing
legs joined on a low pedestal. He holds a jar
lotus buds between his palms at chest level.
outer robe, known as the sanghati, covers
shoulders and descends in delicate folds.
monumental scale of the statue allowed the
sculptor to carve the drapery and scarves in
The Khitan were an ancient nomadic tribe
lived in north-eastern China. The name ‘Liao’
comes from the valley of the Liao river where
they originally lived. They were brought
Chinese rule during the Tang dynasty. In 907
when the Tang collapsed, a Khitan chieftain
established the empire of Liao. They ruled
eastern China contemporaneously with the
Dynasties and later with the Northern Song.
Liao were important patrons of Buddhism.
pacifism of Buddhism and the assimilation of
Chinese wealth and cultural elements
weakened the Liao’s once-military character.
1125 AD the Song army annihilated the Liao.