Ascetic Holding a Skull

c. 500 CE
Overall: 19.4 cm (7 5/8 in.); Figure: 18.1 cm (7 1/8 in.)
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Did You Know?

This grimacing figure has a potbelly protruding between the hem of his short jacket and fringed skirt (dhoti).


The figure holding the skull has been identified as Mrgasirsa, who sought Buddha’s teaching on how to determine the karma and transmigration of the arhats. Mrgasirsa appears with Vasistha in some of the wall paintings of the Mogao grottoes in Dunhuang.
Ascetic Holding a Skull

Ascetic Holding a Skull

c. 500 CE

China, Northern Wei dynasty (386-534)

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