This is a stone sculpture of a devotee or
disciple from Tang Dynasty. Standing on a
lotus pedestal, the figure has a kind and
serene facial expression, his eyes looking
downwards mercifully. Although his arms
are missing, we can still clearly see a scarf
wraps around his body. He has long
earlobes, plump cheeks, and the
conventional three folds on his neck.
Simplistic keyura hangs from his chest,
while an elegant knot on his waist ties
together all the garments on his body.
In Buddhist art, a common way to construct
a scene is to adopt the “1+2” mode.
Devotees and disciples have always been
featured accompanying their master, the
central deity in trio form. They are usually
depicted in a modest form, without dazzling
decorations and gemstones. It is extremely
rare to have a complete set of a trio since
many of them have separated along the
This sculpture bears distinctive features of
Tang dynasty art style. The presence of
round cheeks, a chubby neck, and a
noticeable belly, are coherent with the
typical Tang style of richness and
substantial physical presence. In Tang
aesthetics, being chubby is an auspicious
sign since it symbolises prosperity and
material abundance. Applying this style to
Buddhist sculptures reflect the belief that
the figure is spiritually advanced.