Three Celestial Attendants. China (Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region), ca. 6th-7th century. Materials; Pigments on mud plaster. Measurement; 8 3/4 x 15 3/4 in. (22.2 x 40 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art; New York City.
THREE CELESTIAL ATTENDANTS
This image portrays two female figures, on the left, and one male figure on the right. According tothe MET, the two females wear beaded headdresses that were commonly represented in Kizil paintings, while the male is believed to be wearing a decorated turban. All of their adornments resemble halos, which suggest that they were a group of celestial beings surrounding the Buddha in a holy realm. This is another early example of halos utilized as a symbol indicating divinity, and is interesting because due to the wearability of the headdresses and turban, we can assume that holy figures in wore halo-resembling adornments in real life. Do these halos originate from Western artistic influence, or is this another Jungian example of pulling directly from the collective unconscious?