Location: On Display in the Asia Galleries

From: China

Curatorial Section: Asian

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Object Number C405A
Current Location Asia Galleries - On Display
Culture Chinese | Buddhist
Provenience China
Period Yuan Dynasty
Date Made Yuan Dynasty
Section Asian
Materials Wood
Technique Dry Lacquer | Gilded
Iconography Sakyamuni Buddha

Seated figure of Sakyamuni Buddha in meditation with chin leaning on his hands which are joined over the raised left knee. The other leg is bent horizontally in front of the figure. Sakyamuni is the honorific name for Siddhartha Gautama (563 - 483 BCE), also known as the historical Buddha. The Buddha's unusual smile offsets his austere demeanor. Crafted during the period of Mongolian rule in China, the facial features suggest connections with Nepalese Buddhism.

The use of dry lacquer was a time consuming process during which layers of clay, paper, lacquer, and cloth were applied to the figure. The drapery, with its free-flowing folds is uncommon for the time; it shows the natural folds of the cloth that was laid on the figure during the process. At one time, five woodblock printed and manuscript sutras, in Chinese and Tibetan, were inside the hollow figure (see C405 B-F, H). Perfumed ashes were also found which would have helped to protect the lacquer from worms. Additionally a small parcel containing five organs made of silver was present inside the statue but is now missing.

Height 81 cm
Width 83.8 cm
Depth 61 cm
Credit Line Purchased from C. T. Loo, 1923

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