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Surviving NirvanaDeath of the Buddha in Chinese Visual Culture$
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Sonya S. Lee

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9789622091252

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789622091252.001.0001

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Impermanent Burials: Relic Deposits

Impermanent Burials: Relic Deposits

(p.202) (p.203) Chapter Four Impermanent Burials: Relic Deposits
Surviving Nirvana

Sonya S. Lee

Hong Kong University Press

This chapter discusses the appearance of the nirvana image in relic deposits of the tenth to twelfth centuries which marks the final episode in the account of the motif's development in medieval China. It examines the two important finds from the late tenth century in Dingzhou, Hebei. In addition to being a surface décor on some of the metal and stone containers in the deposit assemblage, the nirvana motif also figured prominently in the underground structures respectively at Jingzhi Monastery and Jingzhong Cloister in the form of painted murals. It discusses the viewership and the very act of seeing the nirvana image in the hidden space of relic deposits.

Keywords:   medieval China, motif, nirvana image, relic deposits, Dingzhou, Hebei, Jingzhi Monastery, Jingzhong Cloister, painted murals

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