Chinese Schist Stone Buddha
Han Dynasty, circa: 206 BC-220 AD
X w.8in.(20cm.) X d.7 in.(18cm.)
standing posture with claws extended, jaws open in a menacing snarl, this lion
figure combines simplicity of design with a high degree of expressiveness. Carving
of the body is uncluttered; the head and face are incised with rhythmic, delicate
whorls and spirals that describe the curling mane, beard and eyebrows of the beast.
Curved horns extend toward the back of the figure, where the lionís mane has been
gathered into a descending mass of deeply carved furrows. The powerful feet and
claws are convincingly rendered, and reflect the mythological themes of the Han,
(206B.C.-220A.D.) an epoch when magic and the fantastic permeated the imagination
of the populace.