Bronze figure of the seated Buddha


British Museum

British Museum

Metal figures of the Gupta period (AD 320-550) are generally made of bronze (that is copper mixed with a small percentage of tin and other alloys). They are smaller than stone images, usually ranging between 30 and 50 cm in height, and portable. As a result, they were carried in religious processions, worshipped in a domestic shrine and even carried away as sacred mementoes by pilgrims to China, Central Asia, Sri Lanka and South-east Asia, where they were a strong influence on their respective artistic traditions.India is famous for its bronze casting tradition, which was very sophisticated from an early date. Images such as this one, are made in the cire perdue or 'lost wax' process. The metal caster would model his figure in wax and then prepare a negative terracotta cast from that model. The positive was then produced by pouring molten metal into the terracotta cast. After the metal cooled and solidified it was broken away from the mould and finished with fine tools.

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  • Title: Bronze figure of the seated Buddha
  • Date Created: 500/599
  • Physical Dimensions: Height: 330.00mm; Width: 220.00mm; Depth: 152.00mm
  • External Link: British Museum collection online
  • Technique: cast; gilded
  • Subject: buddha
  • Registration number: 1969,0725.1
  • Production place: Made in India
  • Place: Found/Acquired Danesar Khera
  • Material: bronze; gold
  • Copyright: Photo: © Trustees of the British Museum
  • Acquisition: Purchased from Jeannerat, Pierre. Funded by Brooke Sewell Bequest