What did Empress Wu Zetian look like?
Updated: 2015-01-07 11:16
The Vairocana Buddha in Fengxian Temple. [Photo/Artron.net]
When Empress Wu Zetian ascended the throne, she built many temples and Buddha statues. Many Buddha statues in the Longmen Grottoes in today's Luoyang in Henan province were constructed during her reign. Among them, a large Vairocana Buddha in Fengxian Temple is considered to be a "portrait" of Wu Zetian at 44 years old.
The Buddha has characteristics of an oriental beauty's face and is honored as the most beautiful Buddha in the world. At 17.14 meters high, the face of the Buddha looks elegant, pretty and plump, and has a mysterious smile.
Wu Zetian funded the statue's construction and took part in the consecration ceremony when it was completed. Ancient people assumed that the statue was an embodiment of Empress Wu Zetian.