Unknown Artist

Rubbing of stone relief from the offering shrines of Wuliangci of the Han dynasty. Traditional grouping Rear 2

Not on display
Further information

Created in the 1950s, this rubbing is among a group of nearly 50 rubbings made from the bas-reliefs carved on the stones that were used to construct the Wu Liang Shrine dated second century. The shrine, located in Jiaxiang County of Shandong Province of east China, is a stone chamber dedicated to Wu Liang ( 78 -151CE) and served as a memorial hall for his descendents to present offerings and commemorate him. The excellent carvings on the interior of the shrine are based on the Eastern Han notion of a universe with three integral parts: Heaven, the realm of immortality, and the human world.

The second register from the top of this piece is composed of tales related to nature deities, including Deity for Rain, Wind, and Thunder. Towards the end on the right an arched icon identified as 'rainbow' Deity, a dragon with two heads. This image is also interpreted as the totem animal of 'Fuxi' tribe, and the two heads represent the 'Fuxi' and 'Nuwa'.

Asian Art Department, AGNSW, January 2012

Place of origin
ink on paper
105.0 x 139.5 cm
Purchased 1979
Accession number