6 Arhat Busts, Callig & Landscape 10.92 cm

SIX ARHAT

Jade realistic carvings of human beings throughout the ages have, as noted, been so few and far between and more stylistically standardized as a symbol rather than differentiated and personalized; that is, at least until the Manchu Qing.  When one finds the rare carving with individualistic faces and expressions, the reflex response must be that it was not done by a Chinese lapidarian artist.  Creating gods in realistic human form did not come early, easily or often to the Chinese.  This jade paper weight of six heavenly figures with brilliantly carved features of C. Asian or Turkish features makes for fascinating portraiture as well as narrative.  Interestingly, the Chinese always turned toward the West for the abodes of their gods and, later, religious figures, and in this carving they are shown apparently chastising or admonishing the worshipful figures below them, and the Chinese script below recites the Chinese creation myth of the goddess Nuwa repairing the hole in the sky.

SIX ARHAT

Jade realistic carvings of human beings throughout the ages have, as noted, been so few and far between and more stylistically standardized as a symbol rather than differentiated and personalized; that is, at least until the Manchu Qing.  When one finds the rare carving with individualistic faces and expressions, the reflex response must be that it was not done by a Chinese lapidarian artist.  Creating gods in realistic human form did not come early, easily or often to the Chinese.  This jade paper weight of six heavenly figures with brilliantly carved features of C. Asian or Turkish features makes for fascinating portraiture as well as narrative.  Interestingly, the Chinese always turned toward the West for the abodes of their gods and, later, religious figures, and in this carving they are shown apparently chastising or admonishing the worshipful figures below them, and the Chinese script below recites the Chinese creation myth of the goddess Nuwa repairing the hole in the sky.


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