This head once belonged to an attendant bodhisattva, which had been carved into the back wall of Cave 21 at Tianlongshan, a small complex consisting of twenty-four cave shrines and a wooden temple. Located about twenty-five miles southwest of Taiyuan, in Shanxi province, Tianlongshan opened in the mid-sixth century and was revived in the early eighth century. The history of the site is recorded on a large stone stele, erected in 706 by a General Xun and his wife, who were visiting the site at that time.
Shanxi Province (Tianlongshan complex, cave 21)
Abby Aldrich Rockefeller , New York (until 1942; donated to MMA)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Heads in Sculpture from the Museum Collection," January 16, 1940–March 3, 1940.
National Museum of History, Taipei. "Zhongguo gu dai shi diao yi shu) 中國古代石雕藝術," February 13, 1983–September 30, 1983.
Gaoxiang. Zhongzheng Culture Center. "Zhongguo gu dai shi diao yi shu) 中國古代石雕藝術," May 25, 1983–July 25, 1983.
Tainan Culture Center. "Zhongguo gu dai shi diao yi shu) 中國古代石雕藝術," August 10, 1983–September 30, 1983.
New York. St. John's University. "Chinese Buddhist Sculpture from the Wei through the Tang Dynasties," November 1, 1983–December 30, 1983.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Sackler Galleries Reinstallation," October 14, 1998–March 19, 2010.