Funerary Couch with Images of Filial Piety (Translation)
綫刻孝子圍屏石棺床 北魏 (Primary Title)
These iconographical details have integrated Chinese tradition and Central Asian elements. The front panels of this couch feature painted towers and a wall, as if leading through the entranceway to a private property. Details include molded roof tiles and painted designs of wooden frames and brackets, representing Chinese architectural components of the period. The couch is enclosed by a four-paneled screen that form the back and sides. The panels are incised with twelve scenes, including a seated couple (the tomb occupants), processions, and Chinese stories of filial piety, which became well known with the growing popularity of Confucius' teachings. The baseboard and legs are carved with mythological animals including a dragon, the Wind Spirit, and the Thunder Spirit.
The owner and the origin of the couch are unclear. Judging from the pictorial style and the stone construction, it most likely belongs to a local Chinese official from central North China.
"Ritual Objects and Early Buddhist Art," Gisele Croës,
Arts d'Extreme-Orient, catalogue, Brussels pp.23-55, ill. 25-55, 2004
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