Barbarian Royalty Worshiping the Buddha



attributed to Zhao Guangfu 趙光輔

(Chinese, c. 923–976)
Painting section: 28.6 x 103.5 cm (11 1/4 x 40 3/4 in.); Overall with colophon: 28.6 x 667.7 cm (11 1/4 x 262 7/8 in.)
Location: not on view
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Sixteen "barbarians" pay homage to the Buddha, who is seated on a lotus throne with two disciples and two guardians.


This painting begins on the right with 15 people following a dignified figure wearing headgear with twin pheasant feathers. He extends an incense burner toward the Buddha, who is seated on his lotus throne and flanked by two haloed disciples and two Heavenly Kings. The worshipers’ diverse physical features, regional finery, and religious affiliations suggest the universal appeal of Buddhism.

The imagery was inspired by the foreign envoys who frequently came to the Chinese court to give tribute to the emperor. At the time, all outsiders were considered “barbarians,” so their presence was seen as acknowledgment of China’s political and cultural power.
Barbarian Royalty Worshiping the Buddha

Barbarian Royalty Worshiping the Buddha


Zhao Guangfu

(Chinese, c. 923–976)
China, Northern Song dynasty (960-1127)

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