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This delicately crafted statue of Amitabha, the Buddha of Infinite Light, bears testimony to the flowering of Buddhist art under the Liao Empire established by the Khitans, a nomadic Mongolian people, after the Tang persecution of Buddhists in 845.

The Liao rulers were devout Buddhists who commissioned substantial religious projects. Liao Buddhist artifacts reflecting close ties to the Tang traditions were likely executed by displaced or enslaved artisans as a result of the Khitan conquest of northern China.

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Details

  • Title: Amitabha
  • Date Created: mid-1000s
  • Physical Dimensions: Overall: 23 cm (9 1/16 in.)
  • Provenance: (Heeramaneck Galleries, New York, NY, sold to the Cleveland Museum of Art), The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
  • Type: Sculpture
  • Rights: CC0
  • External Link: https://clevelandart.org/art/1942.1082
  • Medium: gilt bronze
  • Fun Fact: This gilt bronze Buddha is similar in style to another rare piece in the Shanghai Museum, which bears an inscription dating it to 1043, the second year of the Shengming reign of the Dali kingdom.
  • Department: Chinese Art
  • Culture: China, Yunnan province, Dali kingdom (938–1253)
  • Credit Line: Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund
  • Collection: China - Liao Dynasty
  • Accession Number: 1942.1082

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